A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging Brian Booker, a former resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose business specialized in international trade, with failing to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) and filing false documents with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.
According to the superseding indictment, Booker, a former Certified Public Accountant, owned a cocoa trading company that was organized under the laws of the Republic of Panama. Booker allegedly operated that company from Venezuela, Panama, and his former residence in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The superseding indictment further alleges that, for calendar years 2011 through 2013, Booker failed to disclose his interest in financial accounts located in Switzerland, Singapore, and Panama on annual Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs) as required by law. Booker also allegedly filed false individual income tax returns for tax years 2010 through 2012 that failed to report to the IRS all of Booker’s foreign bank accounts.
Booker is also charged with filing a false “Streamlined Submission” in conjunction with the Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures. The IRS Streamlined procedures allowed eligible taxpayers residing within the United States, who failed to report gross income from foreign financial accounts on prior tax returns, failed to pay taxes on that gross income, or who failed to submit an FBAR disclosing foreign financial accounts, to voluntarily disclose their conduct to the IRS. The superseding indictment alleges that Booker’s Streamlined submission falsely claimed that his failure to report all income, pay all tax, and submit all required information returns, such as FBARs, was due to non-willful conduct.
If convicted, Booker faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count relating to his failure to file an FBAR. He also faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each of the counts related to filing false tax documents.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Sean Beaty and Alexander Effendi of the Tax Division are prosecuting this case.
Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.