Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Charge, Failed to Report Income His Company Received for Work It Provided During the 2008 Presidential Election Cycle
Company Received More Than $600,000 in Corporate Money for Providing Services in Support of a Presidential Campaign
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 11, 2013|
WASHINGTON—Troy White, the owner of a marketing company based in New York, pled guilty today to a federal tax charge stemming from his failure to file corporate income tax returns over several years, including failing to report more than $600,000 his company received for services it provided in support of a 2008 presidential campaign.
The guilty plea was announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Thomas J. Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
White, 48, of New York, New York, pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to one count of failing to file corporate income tax returns for Wytehouse from 2008 through 2011. The Honorable Colleen Kollar-Kotelly scheduled a status hearing for December 16, 2013. The charge carries a statutory maximum of one year of imprisonment and financial penalties. As part of the plea agreement, White has agreed to cooperate in a continuing investigation.
According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, during the relevant time period of the offense, White was the sole owner and operator of Wytehouse Marketing Inc., a for-profit corporation registered in New York. The company provided marketing services to various clients, including political campaigns, with an emphasis on marketing in urban areas through the use of “street teams.”
During a period that spanned over its 2007 and 2008 fiscal years, Wytehouse received approximately $608,750 in gross receipts related to services it provided in support of a 2008 presidential campaign. The money, however, did not come from the campaign but was funneled to Wytehouse through a corporation in the District of Columbia named Belle International Inc. from companies tied to a private individual, identified in the court filings as Executive A.
“Today’s guilty plea reveals for the first time a secret effort to funnel $600,000 in corporate money into the 2008 presidential primary campaign in a number of states,” said U.S. Attorney Machen. “We are grateful to Mr. White for quickly acknowledging his role in that effort and taking responsibility for his actions. Our investigation into this matter is continuing.”
“All income is taxable, whether earned at the local convenience store or for work done on a national election,” said Special Agent in Charge Kelly. “IRS-CI is focusing investigative efforts on individuals and entities who contribute to the tax gap, regardless of the business they conduct. We, along with our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, will continue to identify those that do not comply with the law and circumvent the legal process.”
“Today, Mr. White took responsibility for failing to file federal tax returns for more than $600,000 in earnings received for services provided in support of a presidential campaign,” said Assistant Director in Charge Parlave. “Together with our law enforcement partners at the IRS, the FBI will work to ensure that those who attempt to exploit our democratic process for their own profit and those who choose to evade tax laws will be held accountable for their actions.”
The statement of offense details activities by White and others, including:
- A campaign identified as Campaign-1, a political committee whose candidate was running for president of the United States during the 2008 federal primary election cycle
- A person identified as Individual A, a resident of the District of Columbia who was affiliated with the campaign during the 2008 federal primary election cycle
- A person identified as Executive A
- A firm identified as Company A. This was a company owned and operated by Executive A that provided accounting, management, consulting, and tax services.
- A firm identified as Company B. This was a company that served as a holding company for other companies owned by Executive A.
- Belle International Inc., a corporation based in the District of Columbia
According to the statement of offense, in January 2008 White marketed Wytehouse to Campaign-1 in an effort to have the campaign pay for “street team” services during the 2008 federal primary election cycle. A series of e-mails followed, with the correspondence including White, a senior official with Campaign-1, and Individual A. On January 29, 2008, the senior campaign official informed White and Individual A that Campaign-1 would not be able to use Wytehouse’s street teams. Two days later, White sent a follow-up e-mail to the senior campaign official and Individual A, once again offering the company’s services. Later that day, Individual A wrote back and promised to fight on the company’s behalf to get the work.
In or about February 2008, Individual A introduced White to Executive A, whom Individual A described as a business owner in the District of Columbia who wanted to organize an effort to support Campaign-1. Executive A and White agreed that Executive A would pay White to provide street team services in support of Campaign-1 during the Texas federal primary and caucus election. The paid street team workers and canvassers then began disseminating and distributing Campaign-1’s prepared materials.
Following the Texas federal primary and caucus election, Executive A agreed to continue financing Wytehouse’s paid street team workers in support of Campaign-1 during several upcoming federal primary elections, and the efforts continued.
All told, from in our about February 2008 through and including in or about May 2008, Wytehouse received approximately $608,750 from Belle International to support Campaign-1’s efforts during several federal primary elections. During this same period, Belle International received approximately $611,500 from Company A and Company B.
According to the statement of offense, White failed to file Wytehouse’s Form 1120 corporate income tax return with the IRS for its 2007 and 2008 fiscal years, which would have included gross receipts that Wytehouse was paid for its work in support of Campaign-1 during the 2008 federal primary election cycle. White also failed to file Wytehouse’s Form 1120 corporate income tax returns with the IRS for the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years.
In announcing the plea, U.S. Attorney Machen, Special Agent in Charge Kelly, and Assistant Director in Charge Parlave commended those who investigated the case from IRS-CI and the FBI’s Washington Field Office.
They also expressed appreciation to those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan W. Haray, Ellen Chubin Epstein, Lionel André, Jonathan Hooks, and Ted L. Radway; former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Chris Dobbie; and Paralegal Specialists Anne Riopelle, Shanna Hays, Krishawn Graham, Lenisse Edloe, Nicole Wattelet, Corinne Kleinman, and Angela Lawrence.
Finally, they acknowledged the efforts of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Loyaan A. Egal and Ephraim (Fry) Wernick, who are prosecuting the case.