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Commercial real estate agent sentenced for income tax evasion

COLUMBUS, Ohio(WCMH) - A local commercial real estate agent was sentenced on Wednesday, November 8 after pleading guilty in Federal court to one count of income tax evasion.

Court records show that as part of a plea agreement, Andre Dowdy, 47, of Westerville was sentenced to serve one day in jail, three years of supervised release of which 180 days will be served in home confinement and 300 hours of community service.

Dowdy was also ordered to pay $112, 684 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service(IRS). As part of the plea agreement, Dowdy agreed to give up any ownership rights to an additional $273,651.72 in U.S. currency that was seized.

According to court documents, between May 2007 and July 2017, Dowdy was employed as a commercial real estate appraiser and agent for The Robert Weiler Company in Columbus. He received both a regular salary and a percentage of company sales commissions.  From 2009 through 2016, Dowdy was involved with IRS collections due to a prior history of untimely or failure to pay taxes due and owing.

Investigators say that in February 2016, Dowdy told an IRS Revenue Officer that he was not working and did not have a bank account. On March 2, 2016, he withdrew $10,000 out of a bank account over which he had sole control for a down payment towards the purchase of a 2014 F-150.

In July 2016, Dowdy filed for bankruptcy and claimed debts to the IRS of $168,748, which included interest and penalties.  As a result, the IRS designated Dowdy as insolvent and ceased collection activity.

The following month, court records show that Dowdy registered The Orange Company, Ltd.  Dowdy was the only member of the company.

In September 2016, Dowdy deposited two checks totaling $96,000 that were made payable to him from the Weiler Co. into the Orange Company bank account.  In October 2016, Dowdy deposited a check made payable to him for $589,178.33 made payable to him from the Weiler Co. into the Orange Company account.

In total, Dowdy earned approximately $803,248 in commissions during 2016.

Investigators say that Dowdy conducted cash withdrawals from the Orange Company bank account to avoid filing Currency Transaction Reports as required by law.

Court records say that in December 2016, Dowdy's bankruptcy was discharged and one week later he made a $40,000 balloon payment to his mortgage company. The following year, 2017. he made a large down payment on a Porsche Cayenne and also wired a down payment to purchase a condominium in the Dominican Republic.

In total, the tax loss to the IRS was $112,684 for the tax years 2013-2015.

Dowdy agreed to give up ownership rights to $273,651.73 in U.S. currency that was seized from a bank account in the name of the Orange Company. According to the IRS, the Chapter 7 Trustee that is appointed to Dowdy's bankruptcy case will distribute the seized currency to his creditors, including the IRS.

"Dowdy thought he had created a web of financial lies that would help him avoid his income tax liabilities, but his plan was exposed and he still owes back taxes to the IRS, including interest and penalties," said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.





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