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Belize City, Belize Central America

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Crime & Police News

Belizean Sentenced to 51 Months in US Prison for Tax Evasion

A Belizean born man who resides in the United States for some years now was sentenced to fifty one months in prison yesterday after being found guilty of filing false tax returns and obstructing the Internal Revenue Service in the US.  60-year-old, Samuel Gentle was found guilty of thirty nine tax violations back in July.  According to an online report, Gentle underpaid over seven hundred thousand US dollars in federal, state and local taxes over a period of seven years.  US District Court Judge, Cathy Seibel ruled that Gentle is to pay one hundred and twenty five thousand US dollars as a fine plus two hundred and ninety five thousand dollars in back taxes.  This is in addition to his prison sentence and one year of supervision after his release.  In her notes, the Assistant US Attorney stated that Gentle’s scheme entailed building his business through word of mouth where his clientele mostly from the Caribbean and West Indies would come to him and he would claim fake business expenses and gifts to charity resulting in reduced tax liabilities or IRS refunds.  During the 5-day trial, several of Gentle’s clients testified in court saying that they were unaware of the false deductions but Gentle was reportedly being looked at by the authorities as far back as 2012 when an IRS agent was placed undercover as a client who got over five hundred dollars refund after deductions were created.  The report goes on to note that Gentle also cheated on his own taxes as he had collected over one million dollars between 2010 and 2014 but only report about fifty percent of that.  In the sentencing court session, dozens of letters were cited regarding Gentle as being a hardworking, altruistic and devoted man who gave to charities as well as the less fortunate as he was actively involved with the Belize Diabetes Association of New York.  This was confirmed by the association’s president, Vanessa Young while Georgia Gillett, an immigration attorney in Florida who grew up with Gentle in Belize attested that he was a major support in feeding and clothing homeless persons in Belize.  Gentle had reportedly run his business in Mount Vernon, New York from 2009 to 2012.


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