Scrap metal reseller pleads guilty to filing a false corporate tax return


Date: May 19, 2023


A Texas businessman pleaded guilty today to filing a false 2015 corporate tax return for his company.

According to court documents, Martin Skolnik owned and operated Houston-based Spartan Metals Inc. (Spartan), a company that bought and resold scrap metal, for more than 30 years. On several occasions between 2014 and 2017, Skolnik directed customers to wire payments to his personal bank account rather than to Spartan's business bank account. Skolnik intentionally did not record these payments as income in Spartan's QuickBooks records, which he then provided to his accountant, willfully causing the accountant to prepare false corporate tax returns. As a result, Spartan's corporate tax returns underreported more than $2.3 million of gross income for tax years 2014 through 2017.

Skolnik is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 24 and faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison for filing a false tax return, as well as a period of supervised release and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine the 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 Alamdar Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Senior Litigation Counsel Sean Beaty and Assistant U.S. Attorney Shirin Hakimzadeh for the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.