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Former Florida Mayor and Wife Charged with Tax Evasion

Author: Frank L. Brunetti|May 30, 2013

Former Florida Mayor and Wife Charged with Tax Evasion

Julio Robaina, former mayor of Hialeah, Florida mayor, and his wife, Raiza Villacis Robaina, were recently charged with tax evasion in a Miami federal court, and are expected to turn themselves into the authorities to await further proceedings.

The couple was charged with fraud, conspiracy, lying to federal agents, and falsifying documents. Additionally, they were accused of receiving unreported interest payments in cash on more than $1 million in personal loans they made to friends and business associates, according to CBS Miami. One of these associates included Ponzi scheme con artist Luis Felipe Perez, whose investigation and subsequent conviction prompted investigators to look into the financial dealings of the Robainas.

During the 2011 investigation, Robaina repeatedly asserted his innocence and declared he was not under investigation because he had received no formal notice. Robaina argued that he was a victim of Perez, who conned individuals into investing in non-existent pawn shops and jewelry stores in New York and Miami, CBS Miami reported.

“We were investing in his business, which he bought and sold precious gems, or at least that’s what he represented to us,” Robaina told the news station. “We were victims of a friend who took advantage of us, but we are not under investigation.”

After examining bank and financial statements, authorities discovered the discrepancies relating to unreported interest payments. Under federal tax law, individuals are responsible for reporting any interest payments on loan, which may be considered taxable income.

“The tax system is built on the premise that taxpayers file accurate tax returns,” said Michael DePalma, the head IRS investigator in Miami, according to The Associated Press. “No one is above the law and those who willfully violate our nation’s tax laws will be held accountable for their actions.”

Former Florida Mayor and Wife Charged with Tax Evasion

Author: Frank L. Brunetti

Julio Robaina, former mayor of Hialeah, Florida mayor, and his wife, Raiza Villacis Robaina, were recently charged with tax evasion in a Miami federal court, and are expected to turn themselves into the authorities to await further proceedings.

The couple was charged with fraud, conspiracy, lying to federal agents, and falsifying documents. Additionally, they were accused of receiving unreported interest payments in cash on more than $1 million in personal loans they made to friends and business associates, according to CBS Miami. One of these associates included Ponzi scheme con artist Luis Felipe Perez, whose investigation and subsequent conviction prompted investigators to look into the financial dealings of the Robainas.

During the 2011 investigation, Robaina repeatedly asserted his innocence and declared he was not under investigation because he had received no formal notice. Robaina argued that he was a victim of Perez, who conned individuals into investing in non-existent pawn shops and jewelry stores in New York and Miami, CBS Miami reported.

“We were investing in his business, which he bought and sold precious gems, or at least that’s what he represented to us,” Robaina told the news station. “We were victims of a friend who took advantage of us, but we are not under investigation.”

After examining bank and financial statements, authorities discovered the discrepancies relating to unreported interest payments. Under federal tax law, individuals are responsible for reporting any interest payments on loan, which may be considered taxable income.

“The tax system is built on the premise that taxpayers file accurate tax returns,” said Michael DePalma, the head IRS investigator in Miami, according to The Associated Press. “No one is above the law and those who willfully violate our nation’s tax laws will be held accountable for their actions.”

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