Toms River Lawyer Charged With Tax Evasion
A Toms River attorney appears in a Newark federal courtr0om this afternoon, charged with evading IRS payments and skipping payroll tax payments for his employees.
Lee Gottesman, 56, was arrested at his home this morning following an indictment filed Thursday, according to New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office. He’s charged with four counts of personal income tax evasion and 15 counts of willful failure to submit payroll taxes between 2006 and 2009.
Federal investigators believe that Gottesman owed about $110,000 on earnings of about $440,000 during the period.
According to federal investigators, unpaid taxes prompted the IRS to file a levy on Gottesman’s assets in 2002. He then allegedly opened a sub-account under his wife’s name within his attorney trust account, closed all businesses and accounts attached to him and channeled finances through the sub-account.
Authorities say that the figures include about $90,000 in mortgage payments; at least $17,000 for landscaping, pool maintenance and construction; and thousands for credit card payments, auto repairs, life insurance premiums and other personal expenses.
Gottesman is also accused of withholding taxes for two other attorneys and a legal secretary but neglecting to turn the money over to the IRS and failing to file the applicable forms.
Each tax evasion count carries a possible prison term of up to five years and fines as high as $250,000. Each payroll tax charge is also punishable by five years, with maximum fines of $10,000.