Long Island resident Lorraine Pilitz, age 64, of Merrick, was found guilty on all five counts against her by a federal jury in Central Islip Wednesday, Nov. 9, following a two-week trial.
Federal prosecutors said between 2011 and 2013, Pilitz, who owned several automotive businesses on Long Island, regularly structured cash deposits in a way that allowed her to avoid filing financial reports that are required for all transactions over $10,000.
The scheme resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars being concealed from the IRS.
Pilitz also diverted business checks totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars into personal bank accounts, in addition to maintaining “off-the-book” payrolls, according to prosecutors.
Jurors were also presented with evidence showing Pilitz failed to file personal and corporate tax returns, and filed false tax returns that “severely” underreported her income, prosecutors said.
“For years the defendant thought she could get away with hiding substantial amounts of cash and income, impeding the Internal Revenue Service, and cheating her employees, but the jury saw through the lies and has held her responsible for her actions,” US Attorney Breon Peace said.
“Business owners who place greed above following the rule of law will face the consequences.”
Pilitz is expected to be sentenced at a future date.
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