The Axelrod Indictment
Why was it so important to Governor McGreevey during a severe budget crisis that the State of New Jersey pay through the nose for tax-cheat Axelrod's collection of violins? Remember, this was at a time when the parents of autistic children were told to "learn to live within their means" and the public schools' "new best friend" didn't consider text books a priority.
Well, it was yammered about that NJ taxpayers springing 18 big ones for fiddles was gonna get the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra a lot of attention. Sure enuf', the NJSO IS gettin' a whole lot of attention now!
04-13-04 -- Axelrod, Herbert -- Indictment -- News Release
Former Owner of Neptune City Supply Company Indicted in Scheme to Shield Income from IRS
TRENTON - The former owner of a Neptune City business that distributed pet products and published pet care books and materials was indicted today by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and aiding and abetting the filing of a false tax return by the company's former vice president, U. S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.
Herbert Axelrod, 76, of Deal, is the former owner and director of T.F.H. Publications, Inc. (T.F.H.) is expected to have an arraignment hearing before U.S. District Judge Garrett E. Brown, Jr. on April 21 at 1 p.m.
The two-count Indictment alleges that Axelrod, in order to conceal sales-related bonuses for an individual the Indictment identifies only as the company's vice president for sales and marketing, agreed to have payments deposited in Swiss bank accounts. The vice president's Swiss accounts were set up with the assistance of a Swiss banker who had also helped Axelrod establish his own accounts in Switzerland, according to the Indictment. The Indictment details two trips taken by Axelrod and the vice-president to Switzerland for the purpose of establishing the bank accounts. According to the Indictment, Axelrod directed the vice- president not to disclose the existence of the Swiss accounts and told him that the United States could not obtain records of the Swiss accounts.
Between 1990 and 1996, the vice- president received more than $700,000 in bonus payments into these accounts, according to the Indictment. Furthermore, the Indictment alleges that no W-2 or 1099 forms were issued by the company to advise the IRS of the bonus payments.
According to the Indictment, Axelrod terminated the vice president in 1996, and in 1997 paid him $950,000 in severance payments. The Indictment alleges that more than $775,000 of the severance payments were made by deposit into Swiss bank accounts belonging to the former-vice president.
The bonus and severance payments were funded largely by the diversion of checks due to T.F.H. from a pet product company in England known as Nylabone. The checks were forwarded to the Swiss bank accounts rather than deposited into the T.F.H. account. A variety of methods were used to conceal the diversion of the checks on the books and records of T.F.H, according to the Indictment.
In December 1997, Axelrod sold his company to Central Garden & Pet Co. in a stock purchase for $70 million in cash and a $10 million loan, as well as the prospect of additional compensation if T.F.H. realized certain earnings projections, according to the Indictment.
If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Guadagno and Joan Thomas.
Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, the judge to whom this case is assigned would, upon conviction, determine the actual sentence based upon a formula that takes into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, and the defendant's criminal history, if any, Christie said.
The Indictment is available by contacting the U.S. Attorney's Office Public Affairs Office at either 856-757-5233 or 973-645-2888. The Indictment can also be found on the office web site at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nj/publicaffairs/NJ_Press/break.html
Despite Indictment, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and federal law.
Christie credited Special Agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation section, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Patricia J. Haynes; the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Joseph Billy Jr., and Postal Inspectors of the Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Martin D. Phanco, with developing the investigation resulting in the charges.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Guadagno and Joan Thomas of the Criminal Division of the U. S. Attorney's Office in Trenton.
Asbury Park Press, 12/18/04
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