A wealthy art consultant with ties to Long Island’s East End pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court Thursday to lying on her tax return about Swiss bank accounts the government says were used in an elaborate scheme to hide a nearly $4 million inheritance from her father.
Lacy Doyle, 61, who lives in Manhattan and owns a house in Sag Harbor, faces up to 3 years in prison and a recommended sentence of 6 to 12 months under federal guidelines after pleading guilty to falsely denying control of foreign accounts on her 2009 return.
“I knew this was untrue because I did in fact have an interest in an account in a foreign country,” Doyle told U.S. District Judge Andrew Carter. “I knew at the time this was wrong.”
The plea came as part of an agreement to resolve charges filed in 2016 that Doyle, who runs a consulting business called ArtView NYC, obstructed the administration of the tax laws by maintaining at least six secret accounts in Switzerland and France.
Prosecutors had alleged that she was a client of Beda Singenberger, a Swiss financial adviser who specialized in hiding money in offshore accounts. He was charged in 2011 with conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to defraud the United States, and is still at large.
The government said Doyle, as executor of her father’s estate when he died in 2003, made false court filings that the estate was worth less than $1 million while controlling a secret Swiss account worth $3.7 million.
In 2006, she moved the money to a new Swiss account in the name of a sham foundation she set up in Lichtenstein and by 2007 it had assets of more than $5 million. In 2010 she allegedly “re-domiciled” the account from Lichtenstein to Panama.
In addition to the possibility of prison, Doyle faces a fine of up to $250,000, a restitution order of $10,254, and is required to amend and pay past due taxes and penalties for the years 2007 to 2016. Sentencing was set for Oct. 30.
Doyle, who posted property at 22 Cornell Rd. in Sag Harbor to secure her bail, did not comment after the plea, and ducked behind a pillar before retreating into the courthouse when reporters tried to take her picture. Her lawyer, Fred Hafetz, declined to comment.
“Lacy Doyle has admitted going to great lengths to hide millions of dollars in assets,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement. “Today’s guilty plea demonstrates that those who engage in elaborate and dishonest schemes to avoid paying their fair share of taxes will be caught and held responsible for their actions. ”