Earlier in the day, a federal jury in Central Islip returned a guilty verdict on the five alternate counts charging Lorraine Pilitz, also known as ‘Lorraine Christie,’ and ‘Lorraine Storms’ of having Illegally structured financial transactions, corruptly obstructing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and filing false tax returns. The verdict follows a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Thomas Fattorusso, Acting Special Agent for Criminal Investigations for the Internal Revenue Service, New York (IRS-CI), announced the verdict.
“For years, the defendant thought she could get away with hiding large sums of money and income, obstructing the Internal Revenue Service and misleading her employees, but the jury saw through lies and held her accountable for her actions,” United States said. Peace attorney. “Business owners who put greed above the rule of law will suffer the consequences.”
Mr Peace thanked the Suffolk County Police Department’s Enhanced Prosecution Program for their assistance in the case.
“Lorraine Pilitz set up a complicated scheme to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars from the IRS by grossly underreporting her income and having an ‘off-the-books’ payroll. As the investigative arm of the IRS, IRS Criminal Investigation is strategically positioned to hunt down anyone who seeks to steal from the United States Treasury and the American public to line their pockets,” said Thomas M. Fattorusso, Special Agent in IRS charge. -CI New York.
As proven at trial, Pilitz owned and operated several automobile-related businesses on Long Island. Financial institutions are required to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) with the IRS for every transaction over $10,000. Between 2011 and 2013, the defendant regularly structured cash deposits to avoid required CTR deposits – depositing cash amounts of just under $10,000. As a result of Pilitz’s scheme, hundreds of thousands of dollars were stashed from the IRS. As part of the same scheme to conceal his earnings, Pilitz also diverted hundreds of thousands of dollars in company checks to his and his family’s personal bank accounts, maintained “off-the-books” payroll records “, failed to file personal and business tax returns, and filed false tax returns that grossly under-reported his income.
The government’s case is being handled by the Bureau’s Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Burton T. Ryan, Jr., Adam R. Toporovsky, Madeline O’Connor and Diane Leonardo are leading the prosecution with the assistance of paralegal specialist Michael Compitello.
Merrick, New York
Folder EDNY 17-CR-53 (S-2) (JS)