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Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Former Florida Resident Indicted for Tax Evasion and Failing to Report Foreign Bank Accounts

A federal grand jury returned an indictment today charging Lucia Andrea Gatta, a former resident of Palm Beach County, Florida, with tax evasion and failing to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBARs), among other offenses, announced Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida.

According to the indictment, Gatta was born in Chile and became a naturalized U.S. Citizen in 2012. The indictment alleges that, for calendar years 2012 through 2014, Gatta failed to disclose her interest in a Swiss bank account on annual FBARs as required by law. Gatta also allegedly evaded assessment of income taxes on the interest and dividend income she earned in her Swiss bank account and failed to file tax returns with the IRS for tax years 2011 through 2014.

The indictment also charges Gatta with naturalization fraud. According to the indictment, Gatta did not disclose to the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that she had failed to report foreign dividend and interest income during her citizenship application process, and she allegedly presented misleading documents to USCIS to substantiate the false statements she made during her naturalization interview.

If convicted, Gatta faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count relating to her failure to file an FBAR and tax evasion. She also faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison for each of the counts concerning the failure to file tax returns. If convicted of naturalization fraud, Gatta faces a maximum sentence of ten years in prison and automatic denaturalization.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

The case was investigated by special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security – Homeland Security Investigations. Trial Attorneys Sean Beaty and Parker Tobin of the Tax Division are prosecuting this case.

Michael Nelson

Michael has great depth of experiences and skills that evolved from over 35 years of representing international businesses, executives, expatriates and multi-national families. From these years of successful legal representations of CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies to family clients with needs from complex estate planning to international trusts and private foundations. He is committed to his clients, always finding better alternatives or options for his clients. Dedication to the client is synonymous with his name.