A Margate man who said he evaded payment of more than $170,000 in personal-income taxes on money he embezzled from his family-run business to feed a gambling addiction was sentenced Monday to three years’ probation, with eight months under home confinement.
Barry Markman, 63, who co-owned and operated the Atlantic City Shade Shop on Tilton Road in Northfield, told U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb in Camden that he accepted “100% responsibility for my actions” and admitted what he did was wrong. “There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not remorseful for what I did,” he said.
“I am a recovering compulsive gambler and I always will be,” Markman said.
The judge, in deciding not to sentence Markman to the advisory guideline range of 18 to 24 months’ incarceration, said she took into account the steps Markman has taken to change his life since IRS agents knocked on his door 20 months ago: He began attending Gamblers Anonymous meetings and has been helping others in the organization, banned himself from gambling in New Jersey by placing himself on the state self-exclusion list, and has cooperated with the government.
The judge also took into account that Markman has a seriously ill wife for whom his defense lawyer, Robert Williams of Haddonfield, said Markman is the primary caregiver.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Richardson said incarceration would be appropriate to send a message of deterrence to others, but also recognized that Markman had not spent the money lavishly on high-priced goods for himself.
Markman pleaded guilty in court in September to income-tax evasion and has begun paying restitution on the taxes he owed.
He admitted that between 2012 and 2016, he took more than $600,000 in customer money and deposited the funds into his personal bank account, used the money to gamble, and had initially failed to include the funds on his income-tax returns. Overall, he owed the U.S. government $170,704 in taxes. The business sells window shades, shutters, and blinds.
The judge also ordered Markman to serve 200 hours of community service and to pay the taxes owed.