Business

Coral Gables brothers plead guilty to fraud charges involving $10 million in kickbacks

Two Coral Gables brothers who worked as senior executives for an online computer and electronics retailer pleaded guilty to fraud charges on Tuesday in Miami federal court. They were accused of receiving millions of dollars and gold coins as kickbacks from vendors.

Carl Fiorentino, 57, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud and one offense of tax evasion, agreeing to forfeit nearly $2 million to the Internal Revenue Service. He served as president of Systemax’s subsidiary, TigerDirect, until 2011, and was in charge of purchasing computer and electronics equipment, mainly from Asia.

In court, he admitted that he received more than $9.5 million in kickbacks from a Taiwan-based supplier, RICI International and its affiliates, between 2003 and 2011. He used some of the ill-gotten money to buy a Coral Gables waterfront home, furnishings, artwork and high-end electronics.

Gilbert Fiorentino, 54, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit securities fraud and one charge of impeding the IRS, agreeing to forfeit 99 gold coins. He served as CEO of Systemax’s technology product group until 2011.

He admitted that he received more than $600,000 in kickbacks, including about $200,000 in gold coins.

Both brothers, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jerrob Duffy, will be sentenced on Feb. 10 before U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez.

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