Syracuse, NY — The founder of an ill-fated Syracuse startup has been indicted on charges that he failed to pay income taxes on more than $850,000 in revenue that investors say he stole from the company.
Glen Zinszer, 50, of Liverpool, is accused of pocketing $852,184 from the startup, Brazzlebox, from 2014 to 2016. The Franklin Square company had created a Facebook-like social media platform for businesses.
He used the money to pay for his lifestyle and that of an ex-stripper, with whom he had a relationship, according to Syracuse.com’s previous reporting. Feds say the money — some of which was supposed to be paid in taxes — went to mortgages on personal properties, stays at hotels and spas, as well as cash for personal use.
“He’s paid every single thing,’’ the former exotic dancer told Syracuse.com in 2016. “My housing expenses, my vehicle, all my clothes, to get my hair and nails done.”
Zinszer convinced investors to fork over large sums of money by making outlandish promises, including creating a company worth $100 million in its first year and internet traffic growth faster than Facebook, according to a previous lawsuit. He was later removed as president by the company’s board, and sued by investors and a vendor.
That lawsuit, from 2017, fizzled out. But lawyers estimated that Zinszer stole $990,000 from company coffers during his tenure. That’s not far off from what federal authorities say Zinszer took.
Of course, the Internal Revenue Service isn’t interested in internal corporate disputes. Instead, they’re going after Zinszer by accusing him of not paying taxes on the income he pocketed from Brazzlebox.
The feds charged Zinszer with failing to report income of $207,532 in 2014, $372,574 in 2015 and $295,807 in 2016.
Brazzlebox closed its offices in 2016 and is no longer in business.
But Zinszer was arrested twice on domestic violence related charges, once involving his mistress in 2016 and again involving another woman in December 2017. The outcome of those cases was not immediately available.
Now, Zinszer faces three federal tax evasion charges, punishable by up to three years in prison, per charge. He remains free pending trial.
Staff writer Douglass Dowty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-470-6070.