National Fish & Seafood president arrested for alleged tax fraud

Published on
November 24, 2015

A top executive for the Pacific Andes-owned company National Fish and Seafood Inc. was arrested on 20 November for allegedly failing to pay taxes on more than USD 2 million (EUR 1.9 million) in income earned between 2006 and 2009.

Jack Ventola, president of the Gloucester-based seafood processor, was indicted on three counts of filing false tax returns and one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, according to Ipswich. Ventola was released on a USD 500,000 unsecured bond, with his court date set for 4 January 2016.

Allegedly, Ventola and a co-conspirator – who is said to also hold an executive role with the seafood processor – temporarily employed the services of labor company Continental Labor Team Inc., which both executives controlled. The indictment claims that Ventola and his co-conspirator utilized fake IFA invoices as a means to procure payments from Continental, and then deposited the resulting funds in Ventola’s personal bank account. The funds were allegedly used by Ventola for personal expenditures and to write his co-conspirator checks, according to the indictment; neither party disclosed the funds – which totaled over USD 2 million (EUR 1.9 million) – on their tax returns.

Moreover, the indictment also alleges that Ventola failed to report an additional USD 149,000 (EUR 139,000) in other income received over the one year span between 2008 and 2009.

Filing a false tax return typically amounts to a penalty of no greater than three years in prison , one year of supervised release and a USD 100,000 (EUR 94,085) fine. Conspiracy charges, if proven, could result in “a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of USD 250,000 (EUR 235, 212) or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense,” reported Ipswich.

National Fish announced on Monday that Todd Provost, the COO of the company, will take over as its president in the wake of Ventola’s arrest.

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