Art gallery owner sentenced to three years in federal prison for tax fraud

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michael-levy-galleryMonday morning a United States District Court judge sentenced the owner of a Long Beach art gallery to serve 36 months in federal custody and one year supervised release for subscribing to a false tax return and failing to report more than $1.1 million dollars in gross receipts to the Internal Revenue Service for the 2006 tax year.

Michael Robert Levy, 54, admitted in his plea agreement that from 2003 through 2007 he failed to report more than $3,000,000 in gross receipts to the IRS. The funds were money he earned from his art gallery, Michael Levy Gallery in Naples.

The Michael Levy Gallery, which carries modern and contemporary art, has been in business for more than 30 years.

According to the plea agreement, instead of depositing all of his gross receipts into his business account, Levy converted some of the customer checks he received through his business into cashier’s checks which he later converted into cash. Levy also hid the unreported receipts from his tax-return preparer who was led to believe that all of the business receipts for the art business were deposited into the business account.

Over the course of his scheme, Levy converted more than 80 checks from customers of Michael Levy Gallery into cashier’s checks without depositing them into his business bank account.

According to the plea agreement, the government asserts that the amount of tax that Levy sought to avoid paying exceeds $899,000 for the years 2003 through 2007. In his plea agreement, Levy also agreed that he is liable for the civil fraud penalty which is assessed on the unpaid tax for the years in question.

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6 Responses to “Art gallery owner sentenced to three years in federal prison for tax fraud”
  1. Wow, this sends a message!

    But why not implement 24/7 audio/visual monitoring and put this guy to work for our schools?! He’s obviously good at selling art!

    Perhaps he can raise enough money to rehire the teachers who lost their jobs and put THEM to work as computer aides/art teachers/PE teachers and, no offense to our valuable teachers, “supervisors of children” (which can include study hall or an approved subject or SPORT the teacher is passionate about).

    If our children are supervised by APPROPRIATE PEOPLE, they are much safer.

  2. Andrea says:

    Kari, Do you really want a thief supervising children in our schools? Stealing is stealing. Just because he did his stealing inside an art gallery does not make him suitable to work with children. Think about it…if he was stealing cars you would not make the same suggestion. White collar crime is still crime, perfect example is the what has happened on Wall Street.

  3. friend says:

    Ladies,
    He who is without sin, cast the first stone. This gentlemen is no thief, just a man who made some bad decisions, for which he is paying a price. To cast judgement without knowing detail just proves ignorance. This man is a generous individual who has raised a fortune for the cancer society, boys and girls club, along with many other charitable organizations. I have been a recipent to his unending generosity, and many of his actions were to ensure his family doesn’t go without. His actions were done out of ignornace not of malice.
    Instead of judging him, why don’t you pray that he makes whatever wrongs he’s done, right?
    As a witness to the past year or so, he has suffered for his bad judgement.
    Michele Heatley

  4. annoynmous says:

    wow michael was a nice guy… i was best friends with his daughter for a few years and he was so kind to me. i can’t believe this happened! he was a good man…:(

  5. annoynmous says:

    Mike-
    Is a good man who made a mistake- I’ve purchased art from him over the past 30 years albeit a few items . He just is not the kind of person that I would expect to go to jail. Am very saddened for mike and his family. Hopefully he will be released in a very short time and return to his family and community.He is a good man.