It seems that every year – right around the tax filing deadline – authorities make an announcement regarding the punishment for filing false tax returns.
On Friday, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced that a Stamford man had been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to filing false tax returns for three years in a case involving more than $700,000 in cash from the business where he worked.
Eugene Ceriello, 48, had worked as the manager of a gasoline station in Greenwich for nearly 10 years and had “complete access to the computerized records” and cash at the station, according to both court documents and statements made by federal prosecutors in Bridgeport federal court.
“For several years, Ceriello embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from Greenwich Automotive Services by taking cash generated from vehicle repair services, as well as from the sale of gasoline and other retail items,” the U.S. Attorney’s office said. “Ceriello regularly accessed the business’ computer system to alter the records of the amount of money the business received. Between 2004 and 2008, Ceriello deposited into his bank account approximately $707,485 in cash that had been embezzled from Greenwich Automotive Services, and failed to pay federal taxes on this income. For example, in 2008, Ceriello deposited approximately $191,000 in cash into his bank account, but reported only $52,580 in income on his federal tax return.”
Back in June 2011, Ceriello pleaded guilty in the case, which involved false income tax returns in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
As part of the sentencing, Ceriello was ordered to pay back nearly $300,000 to the federal Internal Revenue Service for back taxes, penalties, and interest.