If not for that Ferrari, Joseph Anile II might not have been dealt a 10-year stint in prison.
Well, that and the mansion and the traceable gold coins and silver bars that helped tie him to a $72 million fraud scheme.
The 57-year-old Sarasota lawyer’s case was one of 121 criminal investigations completed by the IRS’s Criminal Investigation Tampa Field Office during the last year, uncovering $100 million in unpaid taxes.
The investigative branch of the IRS works with other law enforcement agencies to investigate traditional tax crimes along with broader crimes such as money laundering from drug trafficking and terrorist financing.
Tampa’s investigative successes were released Thursday in the IRS-CI Annual Report. Between Oct. 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2021, the IRS reported more than 2,500 criminal investigations nationally, finding more than $10 billion worth of tax fraud and financial crimes.
Special Agent in Charge Brian Payne said the Tampa office had a stellar year.
“These statistics should leave no doubt that our agents work vigorously to ensure tax evaders are uncovered, investigated, and brought to justice every day in communities large and small across Florida,” Payne said.
The Annual Report also shows a 90% conviction rate among cases investigated during the last year.
Anile, a standout case, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Nov. 19, 2020. According to the IRS, Anile spent nearly eight years persuading at least 700 unwitting investors to dump more than $72 million in Oasis International Group, a fraudulent foreign exchange market.
Anile and his coconspirators invested only small portions of client funds, resulting in massive losses they never reported. Instead, they set up fake accounts and even a fake monitoring website to convince clients their money was safe. Meanwhile, the money was used to fund Anile’s lavish lifestyle.
“Oasis International not only fraudulently depleted the life savings of its investors, many of them seniors, but also caused their victims and families untold mental anguish, emotional distress, and broken trust,” Payne said. “These offenses are most heinous, and we are proud to stand with our law enforcement partners to bring these crooks to task.”
Anile was also ordered to pay $3.2 million in restitution.