Owners Of Florida Roofing Business Charges In Large Fraud Scheme
In February, the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Middle District of Florida announced the indictment of Travis Morgan Slaughter and Tripp Charles Slaughter, brothers from North Florida. Mr. Slaughter and Mr. Slaughter owned and operated a roofing business called Great White Construction, Inc. They are accused of a number of different fraud charges, including wire fraud and tax fraud. Within this article, our Orlando white collar defense attorney explains the key things to know about this case.
Fraud Allegations: Co-Owners of Roofing Business Engaged in Complex Fraud Scheme
Great White Construction, Inc. is a roofing company based in Jacksonville, Florida. The business has also operated under other trade names. According to the allegations raised by federal prosecutors, Travis Morgan Slaughter and Tripp Charles Slaughter worked through third party companies for their payroll. However, prosecutors allege that Great White Construction, Inc. knowingly substantially underreported its payroll to these third party payroll companies. The roofing business allegedly also paid its employees directly. When paying employees directly with separate checks, the company is accused of:
- Not reporting the wages; and
- Not taking deductions for payroll taxes.
In effect, the business owners are accused of developing a “split check” system whereby they only report paid payroll taxes on part of the wages paid to workers. In the allegations raised by federal prosecutors, the improper practices occurred between early 2017 and the middle of 2017. During that time, nearly $5 million in wages was reported to the IRS. However, prosecutors contend that an additional $18.5 million in underreported, untaxed wages were paid. In total, the IRS contends that $2.7 million in payroll taxes were not paid.
An Overview of the Federal Fraud Charges
The defendants are facing wire fraud charges and tax fraud charges:
- Wire Fraud: Wire fraud is a criminal offense that involves the use of electronic communications, such as phone, fax, email, or the internet, to carry out a scheme to defraud someone of money or property. It is a federal crime under 18 U.S. Code § 1343, which prohibits the use of wire, radio, or television communication in interstate or foreign commerce to commit fraud.
- Tax Fraud: Tax fraud is a criminal offense that involves the willful and intentional attempt to evade or avoid paying taxes by using illegal means. It can involve false or misleading information on tax returns, hiding or transferring assets, underreporting income, or claiming false deductions. Tax fraud is a serious offense that can result in civil and criminal penalties, including fines and imprisonment.
Contact Our Orlando, FL White Collar Defense Lawyer Today
At The Baez Law Firm, our Florida white collar defense lawyer provides sophisticated, diligent legal representation to people who are going through trying times. If you are facing any type of fraud related charge, we are here to help. Get in touch with us by phone or contact us directly online to set up your strictly confidential initial appointment. From our Orlando law office, we provide fraud defense representation in Orange County and throughout Central Florida.