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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 7, 2019

Miami CPA Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion

A Miami, Florida, certified public accountant (CPA) was sentenced today to 39 months in prison for tax evasion, announced U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, and Chief Don Fort, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan stated, “Rather than uphold the ethical obligations and professional code of conduct of a dutiful tax professional, Darryl Sharpton defrauded the federal government to avoid paying his own taxes, as well as taxes withheld from his employees’ pay.  As millions of hard-working taxpayers prepare and file their tax returns this season, today’s prison sentence should serve as a reminder of the stiff penalties that will be imposed on those who undermine the integrity of the U.S. tax system.”    

“Tax professionals, such as Darryl Sharpton, who use their expertise to commit tax fraud and enrich themselves rather than to assist honest taxpayers will be fully prosecuted by the Department of Justice and held accountable for their criminal conduct,” stated Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman. “Employment tax fraud is a violation of the trust of employees and all honest taxpayers.” 

“For years, Darryl Sharpton, a CPA with three decades of public accounting and consulting experience, cheated the government and egregiously evaded the payment of substantial amounts of income taxes,” stated Chief Don Fort, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “Today’s sentencing is an important victory for American taxpayers who play by the rules and have no tolerance for those who fail to pay their fair share. IRS-CI will continue to investigate and recommend prosecution for individuals such as Mr. Sharpton who ignore the law and shun their tax responsibilities.”

In December 2018, Darryl Sharpton, a CPA living in Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to willfully evading the payment of federal income taxes for tax years 2004 through 2008, and 2010. Sharpton was an owner of The Sharpton Group, formerly known as Sharpton, Brunson and Company. The Sharpton Group specialized in financial and management consulting, audit and attestation, and tax and wealth planning. Sharpton filed personal income tax returns for years 2004 through 2008 and 2010, but willfully evaded payment of the taxes he owed for those years. To facilitate his fraud, Sharpton caused The Sharpton Group to pay his personal expenses through its corporate bank accounts, and then falsely stated to an IRS Revenue Officer that he did not pay his personal expenses from the corporate bank accounts.

The indictment also alleged that, after the IRS issued levies and liens against Sharpton to collect his unpaid tax liabilities, Sharpton took affirmative steps to evade the IRS’s collection efforts, including removing himself from The Sharpton Group’s payroll after the IRS issued a levy against his wages in 2007. Sharpton also admitted to not filing personal income tax returns for the years 2009 and 2011 through 2016.

Sharpton also failed to pay over to the IRS payroll taxes for The Sharpton Group for the quarters ending Dec. 31, 2012 through Dec. 31, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2014 through Dec 31, 2017.

In addition to the term of imprisonment imposed, U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga ordered Sharpton to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $1,380,602 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman commended special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Christopher J. Clark and Trial Attorneys Mara Strier and Sean Beaty of the Tax Division, who prosecuted the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

Updated March 7, 2019