A reputed soldier in the Genovese crime family is facing tax evasion charges for allegedly hiding more than $2 million in capital gains he made on a pair of Brooklyn real estate deals from the IRS, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Salvatore Demeo, 77, could serve 33 to 41 months in prison if found guilty on the four counts of tax evasion and failing to file tax returns, documents unsealed in Brooklyn Federal Court show.
A representative for Demeo couldn’t be reached.
According to the criminal complaint filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney William Muller’s office, Demeo inherited shares in 10 Brooklyn properties in 1991 when his father died without having prepared a will.
In early 2013, Demeo and others sold their shares in three of the properties – 330 Atlantic Avenue as well as 325 and 319 Pacific Avenue – for around $4.75 million, prosecutors claim.
The next year, Demeo and others sold shares in the other properties – 61-63 Bond Street as well as 252-254, 258-262, 264, 266-268 and 256 Schermerhorn Street – for $13.47 million, court records claim.
Property record show the buyer to be Allen Gross’ GFI Capital, which as of 2014 was planning to build an Ace Hotel on the site. GFI Capital is not named as a defendant in the complaint, and is accused of no wrongdoing. A representative for the company did not immediately provide a comment.
But instead of reporting the income, Demeo allegedly concealed his earnings by endorsing checks to an unrelated business and an unlicensed check-casher. Authorities claim he avoided paying federal income taxes in excess of $365,000.
“Organized crime members are on notice that this office and its law enforcement partners will hold them accountable for such economic crimes no less than for their traditional schemes and offenses,” Muller said in a statement.