Former property developer USAO-SC convicted over five years in fraud scheme involving Daufuskie Island resort

Charleston, South Carolina James Thomas Bramlett, 42, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire transfer and tax fraud.

Court evidence showed that Bramlett and his co-conspirators had raised over $10 million from investors to develop the Melrose Resort on Dorfsky Island. Because I knew the resort was in dire financial condition and subject to foreclosure by the original lender. Bramlett and his co-conspirators repeatedly told investors that their funds were being used to develop the resort, but in reality, the funds were paid to the original lenders not to be foreclosed, and to previous investors. Used to pay bills, employees, utilities and taxes. Resort. Bramlette also used at least his $1.8 million from investors for personal use and living a luxurious lifestyle.

“Mr. Bramlett’s prison sentence reflects the seriousness of his crimes and the dedication of the federal attorney’s office to deterring fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Adair F. Boroughs. “This office will continue to prosecute those who defraud fellow citizens and steal federal taxes.”

In September 2016, Melrose Resort owed over $500,000 in unpaid property taxes in connection with a wire fraud claim. The Beaufort County Accounts Office has informed Bramlett that the resort will be auctioned off for the tax sale if property taxes are not paid. To prevent the resort from being sold in a tax sale, Bramlett created a fake wire transfer receipt showing that the Melrose Resort had wired money to the Beaufort County Treasurer to pay property taxes.

“Instead of telling the truth about the ongoing financial troubles at Melrose Resort, Bramlett deceived investors and misled others interested in the property,” said a special agent with the FBI’s Columbia Field Office. said Susan Ferencic of “This sentence will make him pay the consequences in prison and will not allow him to continue living a life of luxury at the expense of those who trust him.”

Regarding tax fraud charges, Bramlette was required to withhold and pay federal payroll taxes from the wages of all Melrose Resort employees. Bramlette collected payroll taxes from her employees, but she was unable to file these taxes with her IRS. In total, Bramlette failed to turn over about $1 million in payroll taxes to her IRS.

“Employment tax evasion results in lost tax revenue for the U.S. government,” said Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Charlotte Field Office. A business executive is responsible for withholding an employee’s income tax and remitting those taxes to her IRS. The IRS Criminal Investigation Service aggressively pursues those who collect these taxes and use the funds for personal gain.”

United States District Court Judge Richard M. Gargel sentenced Bramlett to 63 months in federal prison, followed by three years of court-ordered supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

The case was investigated by the FBI and IRS. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Bauer indicted the case.

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