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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 14, 2018

Financial Broker Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Tax Evasion And Failure To File Tax Returns

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and James D. Robnett, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (“IRS-CI”), announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging RICHARD JOSEPHBERG with five counts of tax evasion and four counts of willful failure to file tax returns.  JOSEPHBERG was arrested earlier this morning and is expected to be presented and arraigned later this afternoon in Manhattan federal court before United States District Judge Richard J. Sullivan. 

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Richard Josephberg allegedly defrauded the IRS and evaded taxes by disguising more than $1.5 million in income as long-term capital gain.  He also allegedly failed to file tax returns for four years.  Working with IRS Criminal, we are determined to ensure that everyone meets his tax obligations.”

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge James D. Robnett said:  “The IRS enforces the nation’s tax laws and Special Agents are experts at following the money through multiple entities and complex structures. People who create elaborate schemes designed to mislead the IRS run the very high risk of arrest and criminal prosecution.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:[1]

In late 2010, JOSEPHBERG began working for an investor relations firm (“Firm-1”) in Manhattan.  Through the owner of Firm-1, JOSEPHBERG secured a commission-based arrangement with another investment firm (“Firm-2”), which agreed to pay JOSEPHBERG a commission of approximately 15 percent of any profit generated by Firm-2 on financing deals originated by JOSEPHBERG.  For originating one such financing deal, JOSEPHBERG was entitled to commission payments totaling approximately $1.57 million in 2011.  After receiving payments totaling approximately $35,725 in his own name, JOSEPHBERG directed Firm-2 to issue the remaining the commission payments in the name of a newly formed nominee corporate entity called “Almorli Advisors Inc.”  JOSEPHBERG opened a new bank account in the name of Almorli Advisors Inc. (“Almorli Bank Account-1”), and deposited payments totaling approximately $1.53 million into that account.

In March 2012, while preparing to file 2011 federal income tax returns, JOSEPHBERG took steps to evade paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal income taxes by disguising and concealing the type of income that JOSEPHBERG had received from Firm-2.  On or about March 27, 2012, JOSEPHBERG formed a second entity called “Almorli Advisors NY LLC.”  JOSEPHBERG caused his accountant to prepare a false 2011 partnership income tax return, Form 1065, in the name of Almorli Advisors NY LLC (the “2011 Form 1065”), listing JOSEPHBERG as a 99 percent partner and JOSEPHBERG’s son as a one percent partner.  To evade a substantial part of the income taxes due and owing for 2011, JOSEPHBERG caused the 2011 Form 1065 falsely to report the commission payments from Firm-2, totaling approximately $1,574,922, as a long-term capital gain, rather than ordinary income.  JOSEPHBERG’s purported 99 percent share of this false long-term capital gain flowed through to JOSEPHBERG’s 2011 individual income tax return, Form 1040.  JOSEPHBERG’s fraudulent misclassification of this income resulted in a reported tax liability that was hundreds of thousands of dollars lower than the true tax liability because individual long-term capital gains were taxed at a significantly lower rate than ordinary income.   

JOSEPHBERG also engaged in a scheme to evade the assessment of federal income taxes for calendar years 2013 through 2016.  During those years, JOSEPHBERG received substantial income from performing consulting and other professional services.  Despite earning substantial income, JOSEPHBERG failed timely to file any federal income tax returns for the calendar years 2013 through 2016 until after IRS agents contacted JOSEPHBERG in May 2017.  In addition to not timely filing any tax returns, JOSEPHBERG took various affirmative steps to evade the assessment of taxes.  Among other things, JOSEPHBERG routed substantial amounts of income through Almorli Bank Account-1 and another bank account in the name of Almorli Advisors Inc., which bank accounts JOSEPHBERG controlled and used to pay for his personal expenses. 

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JOSEPHBERG, 71, of Greenwich, Connecticut, is charged with five counts of tax evasion, each of which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and four counts of willful failure to file tax returns, each of which carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison. 

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of IRS Criminal Investigation in this case.

This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Olga I. Zverovich is in charge of the prosecution.

 

[1] The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Press Release Number: 
18-314
Updated September 14, 2018