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Two admit tax evasion in cash-for-scrap scheme

Keywords: Tags  scrap metal, tax evasion, Randal Bellestri, Paul Michajlyszyn, Odyssey Industries, Lisa Gordon

PITTSBURGH — Two men are facing prison time and fines after pleading guilty to tax evasion charges for failing to report income from scrap metal sales on their tax returns between 2004 and 2008.

Paul Michajlyszyn, former vice president of Lake Orion, Mich.-based machine tool maker Odyssey Industries Inc., admitted to an arrangement where he sold scrap generated by the business for cash, keeping a percentage and returning the remainder to Randal Bellestri, the company’s former president and owner, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Michigan. It was alleged that neither reported the income on their tax returns.

The arrangement came to light after Bellestri sold the company and the new owner discovered the business was unable to account for the scrap metal sales.

Bellestri faces up to eight years in prison and $500,000 in fines after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and filing false tax returns that omitted nearly $2.2 million in revenue from scrap metal sales, depriving the Internal Revenue Service of $652,246 in taxes.

Michajlyszyn faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to filing false tax returns that omitted $270,000 in revenue from the scrap sales, depriving the IRS of $88,102 in taxes.

Bellestri is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 16 and Michajlyszyn on Sept. 18. Neither man could be reached for comment.

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