Used over $50 million to purchase European paintings instead of paying taxes on sale of $130 million dollar company.
Morris Zukerman, a Manhattan businessman was charged in a three count indictment for engaging in a multi-year tax fraud scheme. He is charged with evading over $45 million in income and sales tax. Stated USPIS Inspector in charge Philip R. Bartlett, ““Honest taxpayers should be offended by the actions of Mr. Zukerman who devised a scheme to avoid paying his fair share of taxes. As citizens we have a legal obligation to pay taxes and when this doesn’t happen, law enforcement will be there to ensure these scofflaws are brought to justice.”
Zukerman schemed to evade taxes based on income he received from the January 2008 sale of a petroleum products company, which resulted in the receipt of $130 million in gross sale proceeds. Between 2008 and 2013, Zukerman directed that over $50 million of the funds transferred to Zukerman Investments be used to purchase paintings by European artists from the 15th through the 19th centuries (the “Old Master paintings”), which Zukerman used to decorate his Upper East Side apartment and the apartments of two family members.
Zukerman, 71, of New York, New York, is charged with: one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of obstructing the IRS, which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. The three charges each also carry a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.
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