Man pleads guilty to filing false tax return

May 16, 2009 2:29:36 PM PDT
A 45-year-old man pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco Friday to filing a false tax return, U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello and IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Scott O'Briant announced.

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Luke Brugnara of San Francisco was charged on April 3, 2008 with three counts of filing a false tax return. The indictment charges Brugnara with failing to report capital gains on the sale of four properties in San Francisco and one in Las Vegas, which for the years of 2000-2002 total about $45,663,402.

Brugnara will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco on August 18. Brugnara faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count and possibly more in restitution.

Under the plea agreement, Brugnara would be sentenced to one and a half to two years in prison, a fine of $30,000 and restitution of $343,038. Brugnara's guilty plea signifies his confession in having been the sole shareholder and owner of Brugnara Corporation since 1994, and also that he acquires and rents real property in San Francisco and elsewhere.

Brugnara admitted that he sold two real properties in San Francisco and failed to list the sales of the properties on his 2000 federal income tax return.

The preliminary investigation into Brugnara's federal and state tax filings began in March 2000 when he applied for a Nevada gaming license with the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

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