Art dealer got wife to open bank accounts, dodges tax on $1.2 million
12 Feb 2019

An art dealer who made over a million dollars when he sold a painting and set up a scheme to avoid paying tax on it has been jailed.

New Jersey-based Brian Gimelson made more than $1.2 million over the sale of a purportedly original painting by the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi, commonly known as Caravaggio, titled, “David With the Head of Goliath” (the Caravaggio Painting), according to the Department of Justice.

However he did not declare this to the tax office. Instead, he created a company in his wife’s name, in which she was a managing member. He then used this company to facilitate the Caravaggio transaction.

“In order to conceal his income and evade the payment of his tax liabilities, Gimelson admittedly created a company, had his wife serve as managing member of the company, and used this company to facilitate the Caravaggio Painting transaction,” the DoJ explained.

“Despite creating this company in his wife’s name, Gimelson admitted that he controlled the company and its bank accounts, including the fees Gimelson received for his role in the Caravaggio Painting transaction. Gimelson further admitted that he directed his wife to make frequent and substantial cash withdrawals on his behalf from company accounts.”

Gimelson was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

He was also ordered to pay $432,456 in restitution, which the DoJ said is the value of losses caused by his tax evasion to the IRS.

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