A shocking story is unfolding right in our own backyard (Miami)! An astonishing 169-count federal indictment was unsealed on Thursday, implicating Players International Service Corp in a large-scale tobacco tax-fraud case.
An Orange County home belonging to Roberto Ricieri Ribeiro, one of 3 men and 2 businesses involved in the case, was raided this week. Ribeiro is the president of Players International Service Corp. and Belcorp of America, Inc., both of which are Miami-based businesses. Players International is a luxury rental service and Belcorp is a licensed cigarette manufacturer and importer.
The men have failed to file regular reports to federal authorities regarding the amount of product present and the amount of Federal Excise Tax due. Prosecutors are claiming that from 2006-2010, Ribeiro and the other 2 men all failed to report all cigarettes made by Belcorp. The men now face fraud, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. by violating the Cigarette Trafficking Act, trafficking in contraband cigarettes and hundreds of other charges!
Well, I suppose that operating a tax-free tobacco business provided plenty of dough to buy exotic sports cars for a rental business…but that is just a personal hunch, the truth will all come out during the course of the trial.
So how did this all go down? It seems that the men simply obtained raw tobacco product used to make smokes, but didn’t feel like creating the proper invoices, shipping documents or other legalities required to do business. How can a licensed tobacco company manage to go 4 years without paying taxes? If I am a couple months late the IRS is all over me…
This is such an unbelievably blatant disregard for business ethics and standards that it should be interesting to find out how many of their luxury rental cars and items associated with that line of business are actually legal, if any! Clients pay top-dollar for luxury rental services, and trust is the most important factor in that relationship—a relationship that Players International has shown no interest in cultivating. More details to come as they emerge in this unfortunate case.
Buyer Beware: Below is what the company website looks like for Players International:
Post by Imagine Lifestyles Luxury Rentals