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Press Release

Gloucester Seafood Executive Indicted on Tax Charges

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – The president of a major seafood processing company in Gloucester was arrested today in connection with failing to pay taxes on more than $2 million in income he earned from 2006 to 2009.

Jack Ventola, 68, of Ipswich, was indicted on three counts of filing false tax returns and one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The indictment alleges that Ventola was the president and part owner of a major seafood processor that utilized the services of a temporary labor company called Continental Labor Team, Inc., which Ventola and a co-conspirator, who was also an executive of the seafood processor, controlled.  Ventola and his co-conspirator allegedly worked together to channel money out of Continental and into their personal bank accounts, tax free.  To do this, the co-conspirator allegedly prepared fraudulent invoices for work supposedly done for Continental by a shell company Ventola controlled called International Freezing Systems (IFS).  Ventola and his co-conspirator allegedly used the fake IFS invoices to obtain payments from Continental, which they deposited into one of Ventola’s personal bank accounts.  From there, Ventola used the funds to pay personal expenses and also wrote his co-conspirator personal checks approximately monthly.  Although the checks from Continental totaled more than $2 million between 2006 and 2009, neither Ventola nor his co-conspirator reported the income on their tax returns.

The indictment also alleges that Ventola failed to report approximately $149,000 of other income he received in 2008 and 2009.

The charge of filing a false tax return provides for a penalty of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $100,000.  The conspiracy charge provides for a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations, made the announcement today.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen E. Frank and Brian A. Pérez-Daple of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated November 20, 2015

Financial Fraud