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Former Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Tax court rebuffs Gilmore appeal to reduce unpaid debt

Gilmore had been sentenced to prison on tax charges, but was pardoned by Trump

By Joey Fox, April 19 2022 3:53 pm

A U.S. Tax Court judge ruled on April 12 that former Ocean County Republican chairman George Gilmore, who was convicted on tax charges in 2019 before being pardoned by then-President Donald Trump, still has to pay the more than $1 million he owes in unpaid taxes.

Gilmore, a close ally of former Gov. Chris Christie, was first indicted in January 2019 on a number of charges, including tax evasion, failure to file employee payroll taxes, and false statements on a loan application. The indictment alleged that Gilmore lived an opulent lifestyle, spending $500,000 on art and $80,000 on model trains.

That April, a jury convicted Gilmore on three of six counts, deadlocking on the tax evasion charge. Gilmore was sentenced to a year and a day in prison but remained free on bail until January 20, 2021, when Trump pardoned him as part of a wave of last-day commutations.

With his criminal charges gone, Gilmore appealed to the United States Tax Court, arguing that his unpaid tax burden should be reduced. The court disagreed, with Judge David Gustafson writing that the Internal Revenue Service may “proceed with the collection of [Gilmore’s] unpaid income tax liabilities for the years 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2018.”

Gilmore was succeeded as Ocean County GOP chairman by Frank Holman, who is retiring this year and has endorsed Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy to succeed him. Gilmore has remained active in Ocean County politics in the interim – he repeatedly feuded with Holman over the establishment of a rival fundraising organization – and the former chairman is expected to challenge Mastronardy for the top spot this June.

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