Miami business owner pleads guilty to payroll tax crime


Date: November 28, 2022


MIAMI — Today Miami resident Ari P. Weingrad, pled guilty to willfully failing to pay over employment taxes to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The proceeding was held before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lauren Louis.

According to court documents, Weingrad owned and operated two car rental companies, Rent Max Miami Inc. and Rent Max North Inc., both of which had locations throughout Florida. As the sole owner and chief executive officer of Rent Max Miami and as the co-owner and president of Rent Max North, Weingrad knew he was responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over payroll taxes withheld from his employees' wages to the IRS. Between 2011 and 2016, however, he withheld from his employees but failed to pay approximately $850,000 in employment taxes owed to the IRS. Instead, he caused Rent Max Miami to spend corporate funds to pay discretionary expenses, including a $50,000 cashier's check to himself, $45,000 in cashier's checks payable to his wife, and expenses related to a 55-foot yacht.

Weingrad faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. A sentencing date will be set by U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg, Tax Division, U.S. Department of Justice; and Special Agent in Charge Matthew D. Line, IRS Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office, made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ana Maria Martinez and Trial Attorney Patrick Elwell of the Tax Division are prosecuting it.