A former Jacksonville company CEO was sentenced yesterday to 32 months in prison for willfully attempting to evade the assessment of his federal income taxes.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2015 and 2016, Jason Cory, 49, of Jacksonville, was a manager at a New York-based IT services company and from 2017 through 2019, he was the CEO of a different IT services company based in Jacksonville. From 2015 through 2018, Cory used his positions to cause more than $1.5 million to be deposited into the bank accounts of Gambit Matrix LLC, a shell company he controlled. As CEO, Cory caused transfers to Gambit Matrix under the false pretense that they were payments for consulting services that had never been provided.
Cory did not report the income he earned through transfers to Gambit Matrix on his tax return for 2015 and did not file tax returns for the years 2016 through 2018 as required by law. To conceal the fraud scheme from the second company and evade taxes on his income for those years, Cory invented fictitious owners of Gambit Matrix, made false representations to his employer, and falsified emails and IRS Forms W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number). Cory used the money directed to Gambit Matrix to pay for personal expenses such as credit card bills, rent, and club memberships. In total, Cory evaded more than $600,000 in taxes through his actions.
In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Court Judge Marcia Morales Howard ordered Cory to serve 36 months of supervised release and to pay approximately $606,195 in restitution to the United States.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Roger B. Handberg for the Middle District of Florida made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI investigated the case.
“For years, Jason Cory operated out of a sense of entitlement and greed, leading him to defraud previous employers and honest law-abiding taxpayers,” said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Ronald A. Loecker. “The conviction and sentence show that IRS-CI will vigorously investigate those individuals intent on concealing their income, whether through the use of fictitious shell entities such as Gambit Matrix, or other sophisticated means.”
“The sentencing of Jason Cory is the result of a multi-agency effort to ensure justice for the American taxpayer,” said Sherri E. Onks, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “Instead of following the law, Cory blatantly ignored it, and selfishly lined his wallet with money he wasn’t entitled to. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to allocate expert resources to investigate these crimes and prosecute those who are intent in defrauding the American public."
Trial Attorney Richard J. Hagerman of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney David B. Mesrobian for the Middle District of Florida prosecuted the case.