Fort Myers roofing contractors plead guilty to tax evasion

Two Florida businessmen pleaded guilty yesterday to tax evasion for failing to report over $3 million in business receipts.

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David Aaron and Russell Ultes were co-owners of Marlin Construction Group LLC (Marlin), a Fort Myers-based residential and commercial roofing company.

According to court documents, in 2018 and 2019, Aaron and Ultes diverted millions of dollars of customer checks made payable to Marlin, by cashing them at check-cashing businesses in nearby counties. 

Aaron and Ultes used the cash to pay personal expenses and caused Marlin’s books and records to falsely underreport the business’s gross receipts and income for those years. Aaron and Ultes provided false information to Marlin’s tax return preparers, resulting in the preparation of false 2018 and 2019 corporate income tax returns (Forms 1120S) that did not report all of the gross receipts and income.

Because the income from the false corporate returns flowed through to Aaron and Ultes’s personal returns, their 2018 and 2019 personal income tax returns (Forms 1040) were similarly false. In total, Aaron and Ultes caused a tax loss to the IRS of over $1.4 million.

Aaron and Ultes each face a maximum of five years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Roger Handby for the Middle District of Florida made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Senior Litigation Counsel Stanley J. Okula, Jr., and Trial Attorney Richard J. Hagerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

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