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Queens landlords face 35 years after tax fraud convictions.

Two brothers who own and manage rental property in Queens and Long Island face 35 years in prison and $3.25 million in fines after being convicted of tax fraud last week, the Internal Revenue Service said.

John Rhodis, of Hallandale, Fla., and George Rhodis, of Hollywood, Fla., were found guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and subscribing to false personal and corporate tax returns for their two corporations, 95-45 Roosevelt Corp. and 94-18 Roosevelt Avenue Corp. The two men owned and managed both corporations, which maintained numerous commercial and residential rental properties in Franklin Square, Rockville Center and Jackson Heights, said Paul Machalek, special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation New York Field Office.

"This verdict sends a clear message that filing a false return is a serious crime against the American public," Machalek said. "All income, regardless of the source, is fully taxable and the IRS is committed to investigate and recommend for prosecution those who do not fully pay their federal tax."

A jury in the U.S. District Court in Central Islip found the brothers guilty of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the IRS from its computation and collection of federal income taxes and 10 counts of subscribing to false personal and corporate tax returns. The men are scheduled to be sentenced July 13 by Judge Joanna Seybert. The brothers are free on bail but, after the verdict was handed down. Seybert increased each man's bail to $500,000.

During the trial, which began March 27, the government charged that in 1993, 1994, and 1995, the men diverted more than $600,000 in corporate rent receipts into eleven different personal bank accounts and concealed the diverted funds from their accountant. The government also provided evidence that the Rhodis' corporate tax returns, which had been prepared by their accountant, were based on phony information provided by the defendants, Machalek said.

Special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case, which was prosecuted by U.S. Department of Justice Tax Divisioni attorneys Eric Witiw and David Williams, he said.
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Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 2, 2001
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