Joseph Fulgenzi won't be buying Jardine's jazz club...he's going to prison



Joseph Fulgenzis party lifestyle affected his ability to pay his taxes.
  • Joseph Fulgenzi, left, got in hot water when his "party lifestyle" affected his ability to pay his taxes.

Over a year ago, local real-estate agent Joseph Fulgenzi and his partner, Robert McCain, announced that they were interested in purchasing the shuttered jazz club, Jardine's, on the Country Club Plaza. After discussing their proposed purchase of the venue with Fat City in December 2011, Fulgenzi and McCain continued to state that they were interested buyers, but no deal ever took place.

A different kind of deal took place for Fulgenzi on March 21 in a Western District of Missouri federal courtroom: U.S. District Judge Greg Kays sentenced Fulgenzi, 54, to three years and ten months in federal prison without parole and ordered him to pay more than $400,000 in restitution.

Tammy Dickinson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, made the announcement of Fulgenzi's sentencing, which was followed by this Department of Justice press release.

According to Dickinson, Fulgenzi pleaded guilty to tax evasion last August, admitting that "he owed substantial income tax that he avoided reporting." Between 1992 and 2007, according to the plea agreement, Fulgenzi had $672,447 in unreported income. "The total criminal computation including taxes, penalties, and interest, totals $402,223."

The release says Fulgenzi "appears to have spent his money on [his and McCain's] party lifestyle and trips" and that "the bulk of Fulgenzi's income appears to have been spent on their home improvements and car payments."

On Fulgenzi's Facebook page, he posted an upbeat quote: ""Next time you're stressed, take a step back, inhale and laugh...You're never given anything in this world that you can't handle. Be strong, be flexible, love yourself, and love others. Always remember, just keep moving forward..."

Until someone else moves forward, Jardine's is still closed.

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