Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando, Hillsborough men sentenced in tax credit scheme

TAMPA — Two men convicted of defrauding the Internal Revenue Service of some $38 million in a complex tax credit scheme have been sentenced to a combined 16 years in federal prison.

George B. Calvert, 78, of Hernando Beach and Gregory F. Guido, 54, of Lithia were convicted in June of conspiracy to defraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, among other charges.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday sentenced Calvert to seven years. He was also ordered Calvert to forfeit $10.07 million, the proceeds that prosecutors said he gained from the scheme. He faced a maximum sentence of 95 years.

Merryday on Wednesday sentenced Guido to nine years and ordered him to forfeit $5.93 million. He faced a maximum sentence of 75 years.

Calvert and Guido were also ordered to pay a total of $26.9 million in restitution to the IRS.

The case centered on an IRS provision that allowed producers of fuels from nonconventional sources — in this case, methane gas pumped from landfills — to claim a tax credit when they sold the fuel to unrelated third parties. Calvert and Guido created fraudulent documents that stated landfill owners had transferred the rights to claim the tax credits to the defendants' own companies, including Hernando County-based Gas Recovery Partners-2GP.

In order to claim the tax credits, Calvert and Guido falsified and backdated documents to indicate the gas company was selling the methane to unrelated third parties. Those sales, prosecutors said, never occurred.

Defense attorneys argued that the two men were the victims of a third defendant, Robert H. Anderson, a conspirator in the scheme who pleaded guilty to a fraud charge and was sentenced earlier to 21 months in prison. A judge also ordered Anderson to pay the IRS $2 million in restitution and forfeit nearly $6 million.

It's unclear how much of the proceeds the two men will actually be able to return or how much restitution they can pay. The U.S. Attorney's Asset Recovery Unit will investigate the men's finances, a spokeswoman said.

Seven years is a life sentence for Calvert, said his attorney, Norman S. Cannella Sr. of Tampa.

Calvert suffers from chronic lung disease, among other health issues, and is dependant on oxygen 24 hours a day, Cannella said.

"He's a wreck, to put it plainly," he said. "He'll probably die in prison."

Hernando, Hillsborough men sentenced in tax credit scheme 10/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 27, 2011 7:59am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Two boys in critical condition after Largo crash


    LARGO — A 7-year-old boy was thrown from a car in a head-on crash on Starkey Road, and both he and a 6-year-old boy were in critical condition Sunday night, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

  2. Trump's new order bars almost all travel from seven countries


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday issued a new order banning almost all travel to the United States from seven countries, including most of the nations covered by his original travel ban, citing threats to national security posed by letting their citizens into the country.

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters Sunday upon his return to the White House in Washington.
  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. In Mexico City, hopes of finding quake survivors dwindle


    MEXICO CITY — Five days after the deadly magnitude 7.1 earthquake, the hulking wreckage of what used to be a seven-story office building is one of the last hopes: one of just two sites left where searchers believe they may still find someone trapped alive in Mexico City.

    Rescue workers search for survivors inside a felled office building in the Roma Norte neighborhood of Mexico City on Saturday.
  5. GOP health bill in major peril as resistance hardens among key senators


    WASHINGTON — The floundering Republican attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act met hardening resistance from key GOP senators Sunday that left it on the verge of collapse even as advocates vowed to keep pushing for a vote this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, a moderate, said Sunday that it was “very difficult” to envision voting for this health-care bill.