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When Mitt Romney assailed Americans who he claimed don't pay federal income taxes during his infamous 47 percent rant in May, one of the guests in the room for this intimate Boca Raton fundraiser was a convicted tax cheat who had gone to jail for failing to pay a quarter of a million dollars owed to Uncle Sam.
James Batmasian, an influential Florida developer and philanthropist, was among the well-heeled crowd at this $50,000-a-plate dinner, which was held at the home of private equity mogul Marc Leder. According to his wife, Marta Batmasian, a member of Romney's Florida finance committee, her husband had attended as her guest after she was "invited for being a donor at the required level." Weeks before the event, she had contributed $50,000 to the Romney presidential effort.
In 2008, James Batmasian pled guilty to a felony tax evasion charge for failing to pay more than $250,000 in federal taxes for employees at his company, Investments Limited. He was sentenced to eight months at a South Carolina federal prison and a subsequent two years of supervised release. Along with serving prison time, he had to pay the outstanding taxes and was also fined an additional $30,000. At the time, he was the largest property owner in downtown Boca Raton. Following his conviction, Batmasian, an attorney, was suspended from practicing law by the Florida Supreme Court.
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The happiest years of my life were during the days that Ronald Reagan was president. President Romney will be Ronald Reagan, Part Deux