Dutch treat; ain’t no Sunshine; the trouble with truffles; and other highlights of recent tax cases.
Charleston, South Carolina: Real estate developer James Thomas Bramlette of Salt Lake City has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and tax fraud.
In 2011, Bramlette borrowed $17.5 million from a Dutch investor to purchase out of bankruptcy Melrose Resort on Daufuskie Island, South Carolina. Bramlette put none of his own money into the purchase. Bramlette and a co-defendant also raised more than $10 million from individual investors by issuing promissory notes with high interest.
Bramlette could not make the mortgage payments to the Dutch lender, which led to a $27 million foreclosure in 2014. He lost further control of the resort in October of that year when he pledged ownership of the property to secure a separate $700,000 loan, which he later defaulted on. He was allowed to remain as manager of the resort; part of his duties included paying property taxes. By September 2016, Melrose owed $502,759 in past-due property taxes.
Bramlette created a fake wire receipt that falsely represented that Melrose had wired $502,759 to pay the property taxes. Melrose actually had only $121.07 in its bank account at this time.
He used at least $1.8 million from investors for personal use. He also collected payroll taxes from the Melrose employees but failed to turn over to the IRS some $1 million in payroll taxes.
Greenbelt, Maryland: Tax preparers Lenore Worthy and Veronica Fortune have been…