Kathryn Keneally, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Tax Division, announced today the guilty plea of Thomas Nastasi III, 46, of Mt. Kisco, N.Y., to one count of willful failure to pay the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the payroll taxes of his company, Nastasi Maintenance & Construction LLC. Nastasi pleaded guilty before U.S. 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, Thomas Nastasi III 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. Those taxes included the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes for his employees.
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.
“Employers who use taxes withheld from their employees’ paychecks to fund their own lavish lifestyles instead of paying over the funds to the government show a blatant disregard not only for the law, but also for all honest taxpayers who work hard and play by the rules,” said Assistant Attorney General Kathy Keneally. “Business owners who commit these crimes not only face jail time, but also must repay the stolen taxes, with interest and penalties.”
“Business owners who misdirect employment taxes to their own personal ends are stealing from their employees and all taxpayers’ futures,” said Richard Weber, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation. “Thomas Nastasi III funded an extravagant lifestyle with his ill-gotten gains, including $67,000 spent on cigars. When investigated, he made false statements in an attempt to obstruct our special agents. IRS Criminal Investigation vigorously pursues anyone who collects taxes and fails to timely remit those taxes.”
Sentencing is set for Dec.19, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. before Judge Paul Gardephe.
Assistant Attorney General Keneally thanked special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York for their efforts in this case.
Tax Division Assistant Section Chief Nanette L. Davis is prosecuting this case.