NEW LONDON RESTAURANT OWNER PLEADS
GUILTY TO FEDERAL TAX EVASION CHARGE
The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut announced that LUCIANO G. MASE, 56, of Westbrook, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Joan Glazer Margolis in New Haven to one count of evading the payment of his federal taxes stemming from his failure to report nearly $1.4 million in income over a seven-year period.
According to court documents and statements made in court, MASE, the sole owner of Moreland Corp., which does business as The Bulkeley House Restaurant in New London, incorporated the business in his daughter’s name. MASE and his daughter, who received no payments from the business, had signatory authority on the business’s two bank accounts. The Moreland Corp., through the operation of The Bulkeley House Restaurant, generated cash receipts, some of which MASE deposited into his personal bank accounts rather the business bank accounts.
In pleading guilty, MASE admitted that, for the 2003 through 2009 tax years, he filed false U.S. Income Tax Returns for an S Corporation for the Moreland Corp. that substantially under reported the business’s gross receipts. For each year, The Moreland Corp. issued K-1 forms that attributed Moreland Corp.’s ordinary income to MASE’s daughter rather than him. As a result, for those years, MASE failed to report a total of $1,397,039 of income on his U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns. The majority of income reported on MASE’s tax returns consisted of funds generated from his restaurant business. The unreported income consisted of funds generated from his restaurant.
The charge to which MASE pleaded guilty relates to his individual tax return for the 2007 tax year. On the return, MASE stated that his taxable income for 2007 was $50,976, and that the amount of tax due was $9,168. In fact, MASE’s total taxable income for 2007 was approximately $613,123, resulting in an underpayment of approximately $169,061 in federal income tax.
MASE is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns on February 24, 2012, at which time MASE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
MASE has agreed that, as a result of his conduct, the federal and state tax loss for the 2003 to 2009 tax years is $450,485 and, as part of the resolution of this case, he has agreed to make restitution of $380,475 to the Internal Revenue Service and $70,010 to the State of Connecticut, plus interest and penalties.
On April 30, 2010, special agents with the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation conducted a court-authorized search of MASE’s Westbrook residence and seized $225,010 in U.S. currency. Those funds have been applied toward his tax liability.
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