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Naperville businessmen skirted paying taxes on $22 million in income, feds allege

Two businessmen diverted cash from their Naperville company to avoid paying income taxes on more than $22 million they earned, federal prosecutors charged Tuesday.

Each now faces up to nine years in prison after being charged with three counts of filing false federal income tax returns.

Michael Martorano, 65, and William Sefton, 61, allegedly underreported their incomes from Consumer Benefit Service, Inc., a Naperville company they co-owned that provided consumer discount programs to other businesses.

Martorano, who served as president of the company, is accused of underreporting his income by $8.9 million between 2005 and 2008, according to the charges announced in Chicago.

The former Naperville resident, who now lives in Florida, also allegedly failed to file a federal tax return in 2009 when his income was $3.3 million, prosecutors contended.

Sefton, who served as vice president and now lives in Nevada, allegedly underreported his income by $5.9 million between 2005 and 2007. He also is accused of failing to file tax returns in 2008 and 2009, when his income was $7.7 million.

The two men allegedly channeled money from the Naperville business into a consulting firm they created in an effort to hide their incomes, according to charging documents.

The men are no longer involved in the business, which has been sold, a company official said Tuesday.

Sefton plans to fight the charges, his attorney said.

“We intend on entering a plea of not guilty,” said attorney Terry Gillespie, who declined any further comment.

Neither Martorano nor his attorney could be reached for comment.

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