Art gallery owner sentenced to three years in federal prison for tax fraud
2009-12-15 · By Editor
Monday 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.