SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Glen Zinszer, age 51, of Liverpool, New York, pled guilty today to committing wire fraud and willfully filing false tax returns, announced Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; Thomas Fattorusso, Acting Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”); and Jodi Cohen, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
As part of his guilty plea, Zinszer admitted that he began operating the Brazzlebox company in 2012, which he represented to investors would be like a Facebook for business. Beginning in April 2013 and continuing until approximately the summer of 2016, Zinszer made false representations to investors about how Brazzlebox was doing to cause them to invest more money and remain invested. In pleading guilty, Zinszer admitted that he inflated Brazzlebox’s user numbers and told employees to create fictitious user accounts to inflate those figures, misrepresented purportedly revenue-generating strategic partnerships, forged documents to support those falsehoods, and forged a letter of intent to purchase Brazzlebox for millions of dollars.
From 2012 through 2016, Zinszer used a substantial portion of the money invested in Brazzlebox to finance his lifestyle rather than to operate the business, including paying mortgages on his homes and purchasing concert tickets and jewelry. Although Zinszer used money from Brazzlebox to finance his lifestyle, he willfully filed false tax returns underreporting his income in tax years 2013-2016.
Sentencing is scheduled for November 29, 2021, in Syracuse before Senior United States District Court Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. Zinszer faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years for his wire fraud conviction, and 3 years for his conviction for willfully filing false tax returns, a maximum fine of $250,000, and a term of post-imprisonment supervised release of up to 3 years. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
This case was investigated by IRS-CI and the FBI, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Gadarian and Geoffrey J.L. Brown.