Ocean County Republican Party Chairman George R. Gilmore was indicted by a federal grand jury Thursday on charges that he evaded $1 million in taxes while spending $2.5 million on personal expenses, including more than $440,000 on “antiques, artwork, and collectibles, including animal tusks," and more than $80,000 on “collectible model trains.”
Gilmore, 69, of Toms River, was charged in a six-count indictment covering a period from 2013 to 2016 with tax evasion, filing false tax returns, making false statements on a bank loan application, and failing to collect, account for, and pay payroll taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Jersey.
By the end of 2016, the South Jersey GOP power broker owed the IRS more than $1.5 million in tax, penalties, and interest, prosecutors said.
Kevin H. Marino, Gilmore’s lawyer, said in a statement Thursday night that Gilmore intends to remain as chairman of the Ocean County Republican Organization and will fight the charges.
“After serving grand jury subpoenas seeking evidence of political corruption on every town with which George Gilmore conducts business — literally for years — the U.S. Attorney’s Office could manage only this lame, ersatz tax case,” Marino said.
“Mr. Gilmore faithfully reported every penny of his income, repeatedly expressed his intention to pay his taxes together with interest and penalties, freely conceded that he was unable to do so in a timely fashion, and shared with the government the reasons why,” Marino said. “That is not tax evasion by anyone’s lights. We look forward to Mr. Gilmore’s full vindication at trial. And Mr. Gilmore has every intention of remaining the GOP chair in Ocean County.”
The charges were announced by First U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig. A spokesman for the office confirmed that U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito, a Republican appointee, had recused himself from the case.
The 12-page indictment detailed how Gilmore allegedly used his law firm to pay for his personal expenses while failing to pay taxes he owed.
According to the indictment, Gilmore spent more than $380,000 for work done on his homes, more than $20,000 on a Steinway piano, and more than $100,000 on expenses related to vacations in Colorado.
For example, on Oct. 16, 2014, Gilmore sent the IRS a check for $493,526 as payment for his 2013 taxes despite having no more than $2,500 in his personal bank account at the time, prosecutors said. Gilmore’s check bounced and he never resubmitted payment, prosecutors said.