A federal judge will not allow a hoarding expert to testify in the trial of the Orange County, New Jersey GOP Chairman who is on trial for tax evasion.
On January 10, 2019, Orange County GOP Chairman George Gilmore was indicted on six federal tax charges.
Gilmore was charged with one count of income tax evasion for the calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015; two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; failing to collect, account for, and pay payroll taxes for two quarters in 2016; and making false statements on a 2015 loan application submitted to OceanFirst Bank.
Gilmore could face years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines if he is convicted.
The federal grand jury alleged that Gilmore spent more than $2.5 million on personal expenses while owing more than $1 million in federal taxes. Gilmore’s purchases included $440,000 in antiques, artwork, and collectibles, over $100,000 for Colorado vacations; and over $700,000 for mortgages and related expenses on five different properties that he owned.
Gilmore also borrowed more than $1.7 million from professional associates, friends, and clients from January 2014 to December 2016. Gilmore also obtained more than $572,000 from the cash-out portion of a home mortgage loan that he refinanced.
When indicted, Gilmore referred all questions to his attorney, Kevin Marino. Marino said, “George Gilmore faithfully reported every penny of his income, repeatedly expressed his intention to pay his taxes together with interest and penalties, freely conceded that he was unable to pay his taxes in a timely fashion, and shared with the government the reasons why… That is not tax evasion by anyone’s lights. We look forward to Mr. Gilmore’s full vindication at trial.”
The Proposed Hoarding Expert
Marino submitted a letter to the court on March 28 indicating that his client was acting on good-faith in his dealing with the Internal Revenue Service. He wrote that Gilmore believed that “as long as he paid his back taxes, including payroll taxes, with interest and penalties, the fact that he may have incorrectly reported some of the monies he received from his law firm, or failed to pay over all of his firm’s payroll taxes in a timely fashion, would not expose him to criminal liability.”
Marino also proposed the introduction of expert witness Dr. Steven Simring, a psychiatrist and author to testify in Gilmore’s defense. Dr. Simring submitted a report that indicated that Gimore met the criteria for hoarding disorder as described in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association.
The U.S. Attorney’s office moved to exclude Dr. Simring’s testimony, noting that the doctor’s report did not explain why the alleged disorder “would cause Gilmore to pay some bills, including mortgage payments for multiple homes and credit card bills, but not others, like his federal tax bill.”
U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson granted the government’s motion to exclude Dr. Simring’s testimony.