Ocean County Republican boss charged with evading $1.5M in taxes
After years of being under investigation, one of New Jersey's top political figures has been accused of federal tax evasion and owing more than $1.5 million while spending lavishly on vacations and multiple homes.
George Gilmore, the Republican chairman from deep-red Ocean County, is facing a six-count indictment charging him with evading taxes from 2013 to 2015, filing false tax returns in 2013 and 2014, failing to pay payroll taxes in 2016 and making false statements on a 2015 loan application to Ocean First Bank.
The power broker could face as many as 30 years in prison and more than $1 million in fines if found guilty.
The news of the indictment comes two years after his attorney, Kevin Marino, confirmed the federal investigation to the press. Marino said his client would be exonerated.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig on Thursday said that Gilmore made no payments despite filing tax returns for his Toms River law firm, Gilmore & Monahan, stating that he owed $493,526 for calendar year 2013, $321,470 for 2014, and $311,287 for 2015. The firm does business with local governments.
The feds say from January 2014 and December 2016, Gilmore spent more than $2.5 million on home remodeling, vacations, antiques, artwork and collectibles.
The feds say that during that time he used the law firm’s bank accounts to pay more than $2 million worth of personal expenses that he falsely classified as “shareholder loans.”
On Oct. 16, 2014, Gilmore sent the IRS a $493,526 check as payment for his 2013 taxes but the check bounced because he only had $2,500 in his account, the feds say.
Instead of making the payment, feds say he spent more than $80,000 on constructing his home and more than $25,000 in mortgages and expenses for five real estate properties.
Federal prosecutors say he under-reported his income on returns for 2013 and 2014. They also say he failed to withhold payroll taxes from the gross salary and wages of his firm’s employees and failed to pay the IRS the money he withheld from paychecks for the first two quarters of 2016.
On Nov. 21, 2014, Gilmore submitted a $1.5 million application to Ocean First Bank without disclosing his 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans, prosecutors say, adding that he got $572,000 from the loan's cash-out provision but did not use it to pay his obligations to the IRS.