A federal jury has convicted an Ocean County lawyer and prominent politico of failing to pay payroll taxes to the IRS and making false statements on a bank loan application, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey announced Wednesday.
But George Gilmore, 69, of Toms River, was acquitted on other charges.
He was charged last January in a six-count indictment with one count of income tax evasion for calendar years 2013, 2014 and 2015; two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes for two quarters in 2016; and making false statements on a 2015 loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank.
Gilmore, an equity partner at Gilmore & Monahan in Toms River, was in charge of the firm’s finances as well as his spouse’s and his own taxes from the relevant time frame of 2013 to 2016, according to prosecutors.
He is also the longtime chairman of the Ocean County Republican Organization.
According to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig, Gilmore was convicted on two counts of failing to pay IRS payroll taxes withheld from his firm’s employees and one count of making false statements on the loan application. However, he was acquitted of two counts of filing false tax returns for 2013 and 2014. Honig also said the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict on one count of income tax evasion from 2013 to 2015.
The verdict marks the end of a two-and-a-half-week trial in Trenton before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson of the District of New Jersey.
Kevin Marino of Marino Tortorella & Boyle in Chatham represents Gilmore and called the government’s case an “abysmal failure.”
“We are pleased that the jury rejected the heart of the government’s case: that George Gilmore evaded the payment of taxes and understated his income by characterizing monies he borrowed from his law firm as shareholder loans,” Marino said.
“Mr. Gilmore’s straight acquittal on tax evasion charges, coupled with the jury’s inability to reach a verdict on the evasion of payment count, signaled a complete rejection of the government’s animating premise in this case, and a stinging rebuke of its overcharged, misguided prosecution,” Marino added.
A U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman declined to respond to Marino’s comments.
Gilmore was accused of withholding employees’ taxes from their checks, but failing to pay over in full the payroll taxes due to the IRS. Prosecutors also alleged that he filed a false loan application to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan. Gilmore allegedly received $572,000 from the cash-out portion of the loan, but did not report the income to the IRS.
According to Honig, the two counts of failing pay over payroll taxes each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The single count of loan application fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison along with a $1 million fine.
Gilmore is scheduled to be sentenced on July 23.