John G. Pinone, Jr., of Glastonbury, Conn., made his initial appearance in district court today on conspiracy and tax charges, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. In March 2010, a grand jury returned a sealed indictment charging Pinone and Francis B. DelMastro, formerly of Tolland, Conn., with conspiracy and willfully filing false tax returns. DelMastro made his initial appearance on April 9, 2010.
According to the indictment, DelMastro and Pinone were the owners of the Civic Pub, a bar located in Storrs, Conn., and operating under the corporate name, Pindel LLC. From 2003 through 2005, DelMastro and Pinone obtained or skimmed cash from the operations of Pindel and neither reported that cash as gross receipts on the tax returns filed on behalf of the company, nor reported it as income on their individual income tax returns for tax years 2003 and 2004.
The indictment further alleges that DelMastro and Pinone kept a set of books called "Weekly Draw Sheets" that included the Pindel’s actual gross receipts, including both the cash deposited into the company’s bank accounts, as well as the cash not deposited. However, DelMastro and Pinone did not provide the Weekly Draw Sheets to the individuals who prepared the returns for Pindel and their individual income tax returns. The total amount of cash alleged to have been skimmed from 2003 through 2005 was $130,050.
The indictment further alleges that DelMastro hid the cash skimmed from Pindel and not deposited into the business bank account in his home in, among other places, the freezer, cereal boxes, empty pasta boxes, coffee cans and pots. Additionally, DelMastro and Pinone attempted to impede a sales and use tax audit of Pindel for calendar years 2003 through 2005 conducted by the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) by failing to provide complete and accurate records regarding Pindel’s gross receipts, including the Weekly Draw Sheets.
According to the indictment, DelMastro also owned the Bar With No Name, a bar located in Hartford, Conn. in 2003 and 2004. DelMastro did not deposit, or caused others not to deposit, substantial amounts of cash earned at the Bar With No Name into business bank accounts. Instead, DelMastro used the cash that was not deposited for his own personal benefit, and failed to provide his return preparer with information regarding a large portion of the cash that he skimmed from the Bar With No Name. Furthermore, DelMastro attempted to impede a sales and use tax audit of Bar With No Name for calendar years 2002 through 2004 conducted by Connecticut DRS by failing to provide complete records regarding business income.
An indictment merely alleges that a crime has been committed and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If convicted, both DelMastro and Pinone each face a maximum of 11 years in prison and a maximum fine of $750,000.
The case is being investigated by IRS - Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan and Tax Division trial attorney Mark F. Daly with the assistance of the New Haven U.S. Attorney’s Office.