Monday, January 22, 2018
News Roundup

Ex-business executive John Stanton gets 10-year prison term in tax case

TAMPA — The thing family and friends say repeatedly about John D. Stanton III is that he has been exceedingly generous through the years — to family, to friends, to strangers in a bind.

"I know of millions of dollars he has provided to schools and charities throughout our community," Dr. Benedict Maniscalco, a friend, wrote in a letter to a judge.

But Stanton's spirit of giving never extended to the IRS.

The former president of Seffner building-supply company Cast-Crete Inc., who led the firm to rare heights that included weekly profits of $1 million at its peak, was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for failing to file personal and corporate income taxes.

Prosecutors said Stanton, 64, also convicted of obstructing an IRS investigation, cheated the IRS out of $63.1 million in personal and corporate taxes and nearly destroyed the company he led.

Stanton, who was held without bail pending sentencing, showed no emotion as U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington pronounced sentence.

"I have no doubt he was generous to his family," prosecutor Robert Monk told the judge.

Covington replied, "You just can't do that with money that belongs to the United States government. That's the bottom line."

Stanton declined to speak at the hearing.

His attorney, Paul DeCailly, asked the judge for a lenient sentence.

Prosecutors wanted 10 years. DeCailly sought three or less.

DeCailly asked the judge to consider his client's good deeds and the fact that, for most of Stanton's life, he had never been accused of a crime.

He pointed to Stanton's Purple Heart and Bronze Star with valor earned in Vietnam.

"I ask you to take into consideration the whole person in passing sentence," DeCailly said.

Stanton left Cast-Crete with an IRS tax bill, including interest and penalties, of $140 million, a debt the company's new leader has said may take more than a decade to erase.

Stanton once claimed a self-worth of $269 million and lived a lavish lifestyle. But in recent years, his life disintegrated in a very public fashion.

His acrimonious divorce with wife Susan Stanton ended in a settlement. But Stanton was then accused of refusing to pay millions in support. He insisted he was broke.

Stanton then went on the run. He fled a family court arrest warrant after he was convicted of contempt for a willful failure to pay $6 million in support to his ex-wife and their child.

But Stanton, who lived in the Pinellas County community of Belleair, was captured at an Orlando hotel in September 2012 after eight months at large. Shortly after, federal prosecutors unveiled tax charges against him.

The judge also ordered Stanton to pay $37.8 million in restitution to the IRS.

The figure is lower than the IRS' total loss of $63.1 million. That's because the larger figure includes unpaid taxes from years for which the statute of limitations barred criminal charges.

Stanton was ordered to pay $300 a month toward restitution upon his release.

At that rate, it would take more than 10,000 years to clear Stanton's tax bill.

William R. Levesque can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
These music icons have surprisingly never won a Grammy

These music icons have surprisingly never won a Grammy

By MESFIN FEKADUNEW YORK CITY — It’s a hard pill to swallow, but listen to this: Diana Ross has never won a Grammy. She’s part of a group of iconic musicians who can’t call themselves Grammy winners, including Bob Marley, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys,...
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Pasco religion calendar for Jan. 26

Hudson First United Methodist Church, 13123 U.S. 19, will host a quarter auction fundraiser event to benefit local charities from 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 3. Vendor tables are available for the event hosted by the church women’s ministry. Tables cost $10. Fo...
Updated: 17 minutes ago

Updated: 18 minutes ago
PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

PolitiFact Florida: Claims about prison price-gouging decry $17 soup, $18 tampons

Advocates of Florida prisoners protested outside of the Florida Department of Corrections in Tallahassee on Tuesday, demanding answers to questions of alleged price-gouging in prisons across the state.Protesters from dozens of grass roots organizatio...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Water wars redux: Could Tampa-backed bills doom Tampa Bay Water?

Water wars redux: Could Tampa-backed bills doom Tampa Bay Water?

CLEARWATER — For 20 years, the regional water supply agency known as Tampa Bay Water has provided the state with an example of how local governments can cooperate to provide a vital resource to a large metro region.Now a pair of bills in the Legislat...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police release photos of men sought for questioning in Florida mall blast

Police release photos of men sought for questioning in Florida mall blast

LAKE WALES — Police say two devices ignited inside a mall in central Florida on Sunday do not appear to be an act of terrorism.According to the FBI, bomb technicians examining the contents of a backpack found at Eagle Ridge Mall in Lake Wales on Sund...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Clearwater police arrest man in taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

Clearwater police arrest man in taxi jacking near Crest Lake Park

CLEARWATER — Police officers arrested a 38-year-old man they say robbed a taxi driver at knifepoint Monday morning near Crest Lake Park.According to Clearwater police, Samuel Eric Brown, of Clearwater, stole cash from a driver for United Cab, took th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels

Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels

Associated PressDALLAS — Some in the U.S. solar-power industry are hoping a decision this week by President Donald Trump doesn’t bring on an eclipse. Companies that install solar-power systems for homeowners and utilities are bracing for Trump’s call...
Updated: 2 hours ago
St. Pete spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into bayou

St. Pete spilled up to 266,000 gallons of reclaimed water into bayou

ST. PETERSBURG — It may be a new year but the city finds itself still dealing with an old problem: spills at its sewage plants.The city announced Thursday that two spills at its Northeast sewage plant at 1160 62nd Ave. NE had been contained.But the r...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Jobsite’s ‘The Tempest’ balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

Jobsite’s ‘The Tempest’ balances reverence and irreverence in a busy Shakespeare tribute

TAMPA — The Tempest begins with shadow play, a ship tossed on high seas. Projected onto a backdrop, the shadow of that ship looks proportionate to the waves that rock it. You see this, even as a daemonic spirit holds a toy replica in her hand, the ac...
Updated: 2 hours ago