Michael Shvo may be the most theatrical real estate guy of all. He started out as a brash Manhattan broker, squiring buyers in a chauffeur-driven limo and trademarking the slogan, “Let’s Shvo.” He enlisted celebrity designers like Giorgio Armani and musicians like John Legend to help sell showy condos to showy buyers. Now he’s reinvented himself as a developer, with current projects designed to make everyone else’s projects look like college dormitories, or maybe Soviet-bloc worker collectives.
So we know that Shvo likes buying showy stuff. It turns out, though, that he doesn’t like paying tax on it. Back in 2016, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. indicted Shvo on 28 counts of criminal sales tax fraud. And on April 26, he plead guilty to two of those counts. “Michael Shvo’s brand of tax evasion was an art form unto itself,” said Vance. “Through ornate ruses — like creating a sham Montana corporation to avoid taxes on a Ferrari — the defendant dodged more than a million dollars in state and local taxes.”Continue reading →