Former Produce Supply Owner Tried to Write Off Gambling Debts as Business Costs

The man has pleaded guilty to tax evasion after trying to write off nearly $2 million of gambling debts as business expenditures.

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A Florida man pleaded guilty June 30 to tax evasion in federal district court in Fort Lauderdale. 

According to court documents, Alejandro Gomez, of Broward County, operated Fleischmann’s Produce, a company that imported fresh herbs for wholesale distribution. Gomez spent approximately $896,951 in 2014 and $1,051,213 in 2015 gambling at a Broward County casino. In March 2015, Gomez filed a false 2014 corporate tax return for Fleischmann’s with the IRS that overstated total business expenditures by falsely reporting the $896,951 in gambling expenditures as cost of goods sold. The next year, Gomez caused a false 2015 corporate tax return to be filed that again falsely characterized his gambling expenditures as cost of goods sold. Because the false items reported on Fleishmann’s 2014 and 2015 corporate returns artificially reduced the income that Gomez received from Fleischmann’s, Gomez also substantially underreported his personal income for both years. In total, Gomez caused a tax loss to the IRS of over $545,000.

Gomez is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 30 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida made the announcement. 

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case. 

Trial Attorneys Grace Albinson and David Zisserson of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.