Crime Watch: August 30, 2013

New York Maintenance and Construction Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Failing to Pay Payroll Taxes
 
On August 20, the Justice Department announced the guilty plea of Thomas Nastasi III of Mt. Kisco, New York, to one count of willful failure to pay the IRS the payroll taxes of his company, Nastasi Maintenance & Construction LLC. Nastasi pleaded guilty before US District Judge Paul G. Gardephe in the Southern District of New York.
 
According to the previously filed indictment and statements made during Nastasi's guilty plea, from 2001 through 2011, Nastasi owned and operated several Manhattan construction and maintenance companies, including Nastasi Maintenance & Construction. As the president of the companies, Nastasi was responsible for withholding payroll taxes from his employees and paying them over to the IRS. Those taxes included the employees' income taxes, Social Security, and Medicare taxes. Nastasi accumulated over $1.7 million in payroll taxes that were owed but never paid to the IRS. 
 
Court documents and statements also established that instead of paying the companies' payroll taxes to the IRS, Nastasi used company funds to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, for items including boat-related expenses and cigars. Nastasi also made false statements to the IRS in the course of its attempts to obtain delinquent tax returns and collect the corporate and personal taxes owed by Nastasi and his companies. Sentencing is set for December 19, 2013.
 
Source: US Department of Justice
 
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Texas Tax Preparer Is Permanently Barred from Tax Preparation for Alledgedly Falsifying Returns for Overseas Customers and Impeding Audits
 
The Justice Department announced that on August 22, 2013, a federal court in Ft. Worth, Texas, permanently barred Karena Mondrianh from preparing tax returns and from operating a tax-preparation business. Mondrianh consented to entry of the preliminary injunctions without admitting the allegations against her.
 
In its complaint, the government alleged that Mondrianh prepared fraudulent tax returns understating customers' income by inventing false business expenses and by falsely claiming that customers' income was exempt from tax. According to the complaint, most of Mondrianh's customers work overseas for defense contractors. The permanent injunction order was signed by Judge John H. McBryde of the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
 
The complaint further alleged that Mondrianh provided false information to the IRS in improper attempts to delay IRS audits of customers. She also allegedly urged a customer to lie to an IRS agent in order to forestall an IRS audit.
 
Source: US Department of Justice
 
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Former Alabama Postal Employee Pleads Guilty for His Involvement in a Fraudulent Tax Refund Scheme
 
Antoine Green, a former US Postal Service (USPS) employee, pleaded guilty August 26, 2013, in US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama to crimes related to his involvement in a stolen identity tax refund fraud scheme, the Justice Department announced.
 
According to court documents, between November 2011 and October 2012, Green, who was employed as a postal carrier with the USPS in Montgomery, Alabama, stole at least sixty-one US Treasury tax refund checks from his mail route. The checks, which totaled approximately $145,952, were issued by the IRS in connection with fraudulent tax returns filed in the names of identity theft victims.
 
For his involvement in the scheme, Green pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government money and one count of theft of mail by a postal employee. He faces a maximum potential sentence of fifteen years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
 
Source: US Department of Justice
 
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