TAMPA, Fla. – U.S. District Judge Charlene E. Honeywell has sentenced Steven Brickner to 12 months and a day for filing a false U.S. Individual Income Tax Return for the tax year 2017.
The Court also imposed a $7,500 fine. Brickner pleaded guilty on February 11, 2022.
According to court documents, Brickner engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in various companies that he claimed were involved in the business of marijuana cultivation and distribution.
He convinced investors to invest in various enterprises but used most of those funds for personal uses and to purchase high-end collector automobiles.
In July 2021, Brickner was ordered by the United States District Court in the Middle District of Florida to disgorge to the victims of this fraud scheme over $2,420,000 due to a civil lawsuit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
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Brickner earned more than $1,055,503 in income in tax year 2017 from the above activity that he did not report on his Individual Income Tax Returns for that year. Due to his failure to file accurate tax returns for that year, Brickner caused a loss to the IRS of $172,164.39.
“Honest law-abiding citizens are fed up with the likes of those who use other people’s money as their own personal piggy bank,” said IRS-CI Acting Special Agent in Charge Ronald A. Loecker. “Mr. Brickner caused lasting harm to not only those financially connected to him, but to every hard-working taxpayer who pays into our tax system. This sentencing reassures the American public that Mr. Brickner’s actions will not go unpunished.”
OFR Commissioner Russell C. Weigel, III said, “Thank you to OFR’s investigative team, the IRS, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Middle District of Florida, for their hard work in this case. The Office of Financial Regulation will continue to work with our partners to stop financial scammers in their tracks.”
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation-Bureau of Financial Investigations. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.