Adrian Benitez and Jose Ramirez, co-owners of a Great Neck, NY flower business, pled guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the internal revenue laws.
Between 2007 and 2012, the pair diverted more than $1 million in sales to their personal bank accounts instead of their business account. They directed their customers to pay in cash, or had them pay with a check made payable to cash or themselves personally. Benitez and Ramirez hid these assets from their tax preparer so the returns filed did not disclose any of the funds they diverted on both their personal and business income tax returns. The loss to the IRS is approximately $235,805.
No sentencing date has been set, but Benitez and Ramirez each face a maximum sentence of three years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties.