Man sentenced to 63 months for Melrose resort development > Charleston Business Journal

A Utah man has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison for charges prosecutors say he was involved in a fraud scheme involving Dawfsky Island Resort.

James Thomas Bramlett, 42, of Salt Lake City, Utah, was convicted after pleading guilty to wire transfers and tax fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.Richard M. Gargel, U.S. District Court A judge sentenced Bramlett to 63 months in federal prison, followed by a court-ordered three-year period of supervision. There is no parole in the federal system.

In evidence presented to the court, the federal prosecutor’s office said that Bramlett and others had been arrested on Dorfsky Island, knowing that the resort was in “dire financial condition” and was subject to foreclosure by its original lender. It said it has raised more than $10 million from investors to develop Melrose Resort. said the news release.

A news release called Bramlett and his “co-conspirators” repeatedly told investors that their money was being used to develop the resort, when in fact the money was paid to the original lender not to be seized, and previously It was used to pay its investors, employees, utilities and taxes at resorts, the release said. Bramlette also used at least $1.8 million from investors for personal use and leading a “luxury lifestyle.”

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

In September 2016, Melrose Resort was behind more than $500,000 in property taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The Beaufort County Treasury Department informed Bramlett that the resort would be auctioned off at the tax sale if property taxes were not paid, and to prevent the resort from being sold at the tax sale, Bramlett sent a fake wire transfer. I have created a receipt. It falsely stated that the Melrose Resort had wired money to the Beaufort County Treasurer to pay property taxes.

“Instead of being truthful about the ongoing financial troubles at Melrose Resort, Bramlett deceived investors and misled others interested in the property,” said the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Columbia branch. Susan Ferencic said in a release. “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.”

On tax fraud charges, Bramlett was required to withhold and pay federal payroll taxes from the wages of all Melrose Resort employees. Bramlett collected payroll taxes from his employees, but he did not turn those taxes over to the IRS, the release said. In total, Bramlette failed to turn over about $1 million in payroll taxes to her IRS.

“Employment tax evasion costs the U.S. government a loss of tax revenue,” said the news release, citing IRS special agent Donald “Tray” Ekins in charge of the Charlotte field office. “Failure to pay withheld taxes is a serious offense. Corporate executives are responsible for withholding income taxes from their employees and for remittance of those taxes to the IRS.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy Bauer indicted the case. Information about others accused in the case was not available.

Contact Ross Norton at 864-720-1222.

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