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Press Release

New York City Businessman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania
Owed the IRS More than $1.1 Million, but Spent Money on Country Club, Travel, and Private School Tuition

PITTSBURGH – An Edgeworth, Pennsylvania resident pleaded guilty today to tax evasion, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

"The Department of Justice and my office are strongly committed to promoting compliance with federal tax laws," said U.S. Attorney Brady. "The IRS undertook significant efforts to bring Britton into compliance with the tax laws and to collect his unpaid tax liabilities. Britton’s conviction and potential penalties should serve as a stern warning to would-be offenders that violations can and will lead to consequences, including fines and potentially jail time."

According to court documents and statements made in court, Dean Britton worked in the New York City real estate industry negotiating high-dollar-value commercial ground leases. After Britton was contacted by the IRS regarding unfiled tax returns, from 2013 to 2017, Britton delinquently filed several years’ worth of returns reporting that he owed more than $1.1 million in outstanding taxes. Britton did not pay the taxes he acknowledged he owed. Instead, he evaded his taxes by placing the title to his personal residence in his wife’s name, using business bank accounts to pay his personal expenses, and directing income into new personal bank accounts he established after the IRS levied his prior account. During these years, Britton spent more than $1.46 million on personal expenses, including approximately $770,000 on real estate purchases, $240,000 in home rentals, $165,000 on financing an art gallery operated by his wife, $ 96,000 in home renovations, $74,000 in travel, $65,000 in country club expenses, and $50,000 in private school tuition.

U.S. District Judge Nora Fischer scheduled sentencing for Nov. 5, 2020. At sentencing, Britton faces a maximum sentence of five years. Britton also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Brady commended special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Trial Attorney Kimberly Ang of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn Bloch, who are prosecuting the case.

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

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.

Updated June 24, 2020

Topic
Tax