Galluccio campaign contributor, real estate mogul sentenced for tax evasion

Jessica M. Smith

A real estate mogul who contributed to then-City Councilor Anthony Galluccio’s campaign was sentenced last week in a federal courthouse in Florida for failing to pay about $250,000 in taxes.

James Batmasian, 61, pleaded guilty in federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla., and admitted that he failed to pay taxes for his employees under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act from 2001 to 2003. FICA taxes include payments for Social Security and Medicare.

Batmasian also admitted that he was responsible for the unpaid taxes. As a part of the plea, Batmasian agreed prior to sentencing to pay the outstanding taxes and to file amended tax returns with the IRS for the years 2001-2003.

On Friday, July 11, he was sentenced to eight months in a minimum-security facility.

The man who once owned millions of dollars in Cambridge real estate could have faced up to five years behind bars if he was found guilty, but he received the more lenient sentence after witnesses at his sentencing testified about his deeds that benefited the community, according to the Palm Beach Post.

The Post also reported that U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth Marra was shocked by Batmasian’s choice to not pay taxes.

It makes you wonder why a person who's made such a success of himself ... would be so foolish," said Marra. "Why try to cheat the government out of $200,000 when you're worth $100 million? It's kind of mind-boggling, but that was the choice he made.”

Batmasian contributed a total of $1,500 to Galluccio’s campaign from 2002 to 2005. Another $500 was contributed under Marta, his wife’s name, in Dec. 2005, according to state campaign finance records. Galluccio is now a state senator.

In 2006, the Chronicle reported that Barmasian was selling off almost a dozen commercial properties in North Cambridge.

According to the Post, Batmasian owns more than 100 properties in downtown Boca Raton, including the Royal Palm Place shopping center.

In 2007, Batmasian was the ninth-highest property taxpayer in Palm Beach County, dishing out more than $3.3 million and breaking the top 10 of a list headed by corporations including Florida Power & Light and BellSouth.

A spokesman for Galluccio did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Jessica Smith can be reached at