States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|February 10, 2011||
STAMFORD MASON ADMITS STRUCTURING
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that JOSEPH ROMANELLO, 45, of Stamford, pleaded guilty today before United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to one count of illegally structuring cash withdrawals to evade reporting income on his federal tax returns for the years 2003 and 2004.
Federal law requires all financial institutions to file a Currency Transaction Report (CTR) for currency transactions that exceed $10,000. To evade the filing of a CTR, individuals will often structure their currency transactions so that no single transaction exceeds $10,000. Structuring involves the repeated depositing or withdrawal of amounts of cash less than the $10,000 limit, or the splitting of a cash transaction that exceeds $10,000 into smaller cash transactions in an effort to avoid the reporting requirements. Even if the deposited funds are derived from a legitimate means, financial transactions conducted in this manner are still in violation of federal criminal law.
According to court documents and statements made in court, ROMANELLO earned income by providing masonry and landscaping services to Connecticut residents. Between approximately January 2003 and March 2005, ROMANELLO structured cash transactions of approximately $2 million by routinely withdrawing cash from various bank accounts he maintained in amounts at or slightly below $10,000 to prevent the financial institutions from filing CTRs. For the years 2003 and 2004, ROMANELLO did not file any federal income tax returns, and he failed to pay almost $1 million in income taxes during those two years.
Judge Droney has scheduled sentencing for April 29, 2011, at which time ROMANELLO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $500,000.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter.
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