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Press Release

East Bay Man Pleads Guilty To Income And Employment Tax Fraud

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

OAKLAND – Robert Lacome, Jr., pleaded guilty in federal court today to tax evasion and willful failure to account for and pay federal employment taxes, announced United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Tara Sullivan.  The plea was accepted by the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Judge.

In pleading guilty, Lacome, 50, of Castro Valley, Calif., admitted he willfully failed to report all his income and willfully failed to account for, and pay over, employment taxes.  Specifically, from 2009 through 2014, Lacome owned and operated RMS Moving Company (RMS), a moving and relocation services business. During that period, he received more than $5 million in gross receipts from the operation of RMS but evaded assessment of income tax on the income he received from the company.  To conceal his tax fraud, Lacome willfully failed to file income tax returns reporting his income from RMS.  Further, Lacome structured currency transactions at his bank in amounts less than $10,000 in order to evade the bank currency transaction reporting requirement to the Internal Revenue Service. Lacome further admitted that from 2010 through 2014, he willfully failed to account for and pay over more than $600,000 in employment taxes to the IRS that he was required to withhold from the wages he paid to RMS employees. Combined, Lacome’s tax fraud resulted in losses to the United States of more than $1.1 million.

On September 18, 2018, Lacome, was charged by Information with three counts of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C § 7201, and 12 counts of willful failure to account for and pay over taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7202.  Pursuant to today’s plea agreement, Lacome pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to account for and pay over tax to the Internal Revenue Service.  If Lacome complies with the plea agreement, the remaining charges will be dismissed at sentencing.

Judge Tigar scheduled Lacome’s sentencing hearing for March 1, 2019.  The maximum statutory penalties for the tax evasion count and willful failure to account for and pay over employment taxes count are the same: five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.  In addition, the court may order restitution and an additional period of supervised release.  However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney José A. Olivera is prosecuting this case with the assistance of Kathy Tat and Larry Garland.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by IRS, Criminal Investigation.

Updated November 2, 2018