Convicted on charges of failing to remit payroll tax and making false statements on a loan application, Ocean County lawyer and power broker George Gilmore has asked a federal judge in New Jersey to throw out the convictions or grant him a new trial.
The former Ocean County Republican Organization chairman argued in court papers Monday that no rational jury could have found proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt on the charges that he failed to pay payroll taxes withheld from his law firm’s employees or failed to disclose certain debts on an application for a $1.5 million residential mortgage with a $572,000 cash-out portion.
The motions come after Gilmore’s April 17 conviction on two counts of failing to remit to the Internal Revenue Service payroll taxes collected from his firm’s employees and one count of making false statements on an application for a loan from Ocean First Bank. Gilmore was acquitted on two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of tax evasion following a 2½-week trial before Senior Judge Anne Thompson of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Trenton.
“Following the jury’s mixed verdict in this case, George Gilmore has been presented to the world as a tax cheat and a bank fraudster. Although the jury unanimously rejected the government’s core allegation—that Gilmore filed false tax returns by not characterizing his shareholder loans as income—its findings that he willfully failed to pay payroll taxes on two occasions in 2016 and lied to secure a home mortgage in 2015 have literally ruined his life,” Gilmore’s posttrial filing states.
“In light of those verdicts, Gilmore was forced to withdraw from the law firm he has run for thirty-eight years, to surrender his law license despite an unblemished professional record of more than forty years, and to resign from a political position he held with distinction for 22 years. But George Gilmore did not willfully fail to pay his law firm’s payroll taxes for two quarters in 2016, and he did not lie to Ocean First Bank to secure a mortgage in 2015,” said the motion, submitted by Kevin Marino of Marino, Tortorella & Boyle in Chatham on behalf of Gilmore.
According to his indictment, Gilmore filed federal income tax returns indicating he owed $493,526 for year 2013, $321,470 for 2014, and $311,287 for 2015. But authorities said Gilmore made no estimated tax payments and failed to pay the income taxes he owed. Meanwhile, from 2014 to 2016, Gilmore spent more than $2.5 million on personal expenses, including home remodeling costs, vacations and the acquisition of antiques, artwork and collectibles, according to the indictment. By the end of 2016, he owed the IRS $1.5 million in taxes, penalties and interest, the indictment charged.
In February, Marino said in court papers that he obtained an expert report finding that Gilmore met the criteria for hoarding disorder, as described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
After he was convicted, Gilmore resigned from his position as Ocean County Republican Organization chairman. He also resigned from his position as chair of the Ocean County Board of Elections after New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said he would seek to force Gilmore to forfeit that position.
The two counts of failing to remit 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.
Marino, the lawyer representing Gilmore, declined to comment on the posttrial motions.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office also declined to comment.