“Uniquely American…Cooking the Books”

From South Florida comes the tale of woe for David Cypress. Mr. Cypress is a former leader of the Seminole Tribe in South Florida. The Seminoles have a gambling palace in Hollywood, Florida: The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. It’s been immensely profitable. While the tribe itself doesn’t have to pay federal tax, the members of the tribe do. that’s where the trouble begins.

According to this report in the Miami Herald, Mr. Cypress used a double-billing invoicing scheme to pocket about $25 million. That let to Mr. Cypress understating his federal taxes by $5.5 million. He pleaded guilty to filing a single false tax return in 2007 though he has agreed to make restitution of the $5.5 million. He was sentenced last week to 18 months at ClubFed. US District Court Judge Kathleen Williams noted, “I find what Mr. Cypress pleaded to and agreed to in his proffer was uniquely and sadly American…He was cooking the books.”

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