Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Frank Amodeo & Mirabilis: Mirabilis Founder Pleads Guilty In Tax-Fraud Case

Mirabilis founder pleads guilty in tax-fraud case
Rene Stutzman

Sentinel Staff Writer

12:32 PM EDT, September 23, 2008

Orlando financier Frank L. Amodeo today pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal government out of at least $172 million in payroll taxes.

He remains free on $500,000 bond, awaiting sentencing.

It's not clear when Amodeo will be sentenced, but he faces a maximum of 25 years in prison and fines that could top $360 million.

Amodeo is the formerly high-flying entrepreneur who created Mirabilis Ventures Inc., a conglomerate that bought up distressed companies, including those that provided payroll services.

According to his plea deal, those subsidiaries collected payroll taxes but never passed them on to the Internal Revenue Service.

The federal government sets the amount of fraud at $182 million. Amodeo says he only kept $172 million. The rest, he contends, was legitimately earned fees.

Amodeo signed the plea deal yesterday, but U.S. Magistrate Gregory J. Kelly postponed until today a plea hearing.

That took place this morning in Orlando federal court.

Amodeo appeared, in a blue suit and his electronic monitor. He said he was clear-headed and understood everything that was going on.

That's important because he suffers from bipolar disorder, a mental illness. Yesterday one of his psychiatrists testified that although Amodeo is mentally competent to enter the plea, he's still seriously mentally ill and believes that he will, at some point, come to dominate the world economy.

Defense attorney Harrison "Butch" Slaughter Jr. said that at times, during his 2 ½ years of working with Amodeo, the defendant has believed he could forecast the future and could telepathically communicate to people.

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