A Florida man who previously served as the CFO of Russian natural gas company Novatek was convicted of tax evasion and hiding offshore accounts, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
Mark Anthony Gyetvay was found guilty of concealing his ownership of more than $93 million in offshore assets and failing to file and pay income taxes from 2005 to 2015, DOJ said in a press release on Tuesday.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in September and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for failing to file a Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts report, five years in prison for making a false statement and one year in prison for each willful failure to file a tax return, the release said.
The announcement follows a September 2021 indictment against Gyetvay, a resident of Naples, Fla.
Gyetvay became the CFO of Novatek after working as a certified public accountant in the U.S. and Russia, according to the DOJ release. Beginning in 2005, he opened two different accounts at a bank in Switzerland, which at one point had a combined value of more than $93 million, it said.
He was accused of taking steps over a period of several years to hide his ownership and control over these funds, including removing himself from the accounts and making his then-wife, a Russian citizen, the beneficial owner.
Despite being a CPA, Gyetvay did not file his 2013 and 2014 U.S. tax returns, DOJ said. Neither did he file required Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts reports to disclose his control over the Swiss bank accounts — at times, rejecting his accountant’s recommendation to do so, the department said.
In an effort to avoid substantial financial penalties, he made a false Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures filing with the IRS, which is available only to taxpayers whose failure to report offshore assets and income is due to non-willful conduct, according to prosecutors.