Grosse Pointe Woods Woman Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns, Sentenced to 21 Months in Federal Prison

Approximately one week ago, it was announced in a press release by U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade that a Grosse Pointe Woods woman had been sentenced for filing false tax returns with the IRS. Jarod J. Koopman, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division joined McQuade in the announcement.

According to the announcement, Janet Gentile pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns in September of last year. She was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Robert H. Cleland to 21 months in federal prison, along with restitution to be paid to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $219,123.

Between 2008 and 2012, Gentile embezzled more than $739,000 from her employer, Sagres Partners LP. The press release revealed that while employed as manager of the business management consulting firm in Grosse Pointe, she stole money from the firm’s owner, writing checks from the owner’s personal checking account and forging the owner’s signature. Gentile would make the checks out to “cash,” and write in the memo line that the checks were for petty cash. Essentially, Gentile was embezzling from the company, depositing the “petty cash” checks into her own account, and using the money to shop on QVC, the Home Shopping Network, and other shopping venues. She was charged with filing false tax returns due to the fact that she did not report the income on her federal tax returns, resulting in an understated federal income tax liability. Had Gentile properly reported the stolen funds as income, she would have owed the IRS $219,123 on the income.

Gentile was employed as office manager at Sagres Partners LP for about 12 years. According to Special Agent in Charge Koopman, Gentile’s actions were an effort to “enrich herself at the expense of the American taxpayer.” Other IRS Criminal Investigation Division special agents assisted Koopman in the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Hiyama and Ross MacKenzie.

While Gentile pleaded guilty to filing fraudulent tax returns with the IRS, she also embezzled from her employer. In the state of Michigan, individuals who embezzle money valued at more than $100,000 face felony charges, which may result in up to 20 years in prison if convicted in addition to substantial fines. Although most white collar crimes do not involve violence, the criminal penalties can be extremely harsh, impacting the defendant’s reputation, career, freedom, and more,

If you have been charged with embezzling or filing false income tax returns or are under investigation, consult with an experienced and capable Michigan white collar crimes attorney immediately.

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