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OXNARD : Man Faces Jail Over False Tax Return

A 36-year-old Oxnard man who pleaded guilty Monday to filing a false tax return faces up to three years in jail and a $250,000 fine, authorities said.

Joseph J. Martori pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to underreporting his income by $100,000 in 1989, Assistant U.S. Atty. Jerome Friedberg said. Martori was formerly a salesman for the now-defunct Westlake Village company, Sevitski & Associates, which sold purported oil and gas investments.

The unreported income resulted in a tax loss of more than $20,000, Friedberg said.

In April, a federal grand jury indicted company owner Joseph Sevitski, 49, of Malibu on 29 counts of money laundering, securities fraud and mail fraud. Prosecutors contend Sevitski ran a Ponzi scheme and induced hundreds of people to invest millions in oil and gas leases. The allegations against Sevitski are still pending.

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But the legitimacy of Martori’s income was not an issue in the case against him, Friedberg said.

“Whether you derive the income from legitimate or illegitimate means, you still have to report it,” he said.

Martori will be sentenced Feb. 5.


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