FORMER MANDEVILLE CPA PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD, MAIL FRAUD, FAILING TO SUBMIT MORE THAN $800,000 IN TAXES AND TO MAKING FALSE STATEMENT TO IRS
ANTHONY TULLI, age 54, a resident of Mandeville, Louisiana, pled guilty before U. S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval, Jr. to a four count superseding bill of information, announced U. S. Attorney Jim Letten. Tulli will be sentenced on March 7, 2012.
TULLI, in April of 2010, was charged with mail fraud in a one-count indictment. According to the April 2010 indictment, TULLI, then a certified public accountant, devised a fraudulent scheme to defraud a North Shore business out of at least $40,000. TULLI contracted with the business to handle all of its payroll services. He was to issue pay checks to employees, calculate tax withholdings and submit the federal and state income taxes to the appropriate taxing authority. The indictment stated that TULLI failed to submit the taxes on behalf of the business as he was contracted to do, and hid his scheme by listing his business address as the point of contact instead of the victim business when the taxing authorities sent delinquent notices.
In a superseding indictment returned February 3, 2011, the Grand Jury repeated the April 2010 allegations and brought new allegations that TULLI used the interstate wire system to steal more than $170,000 from another North Shore business engaged in oil field consulting. In this instance TULLI, while contracted to perform payroll services, fraudulently overstated the amount of state and federal unemployment taxes and FICA withholdings in his bi-weekly billings to the firm. The superseding indictment alleged that TULLI caused data to be transmitted in forty-six (46) counts via email which he used to prepare the fraudulently inflated invoices.
In a superseding bill of information filed on October 24, 2011, the mail fraud charges returned by the Grand Jury in April 2010 were repeated. The 46 counts of wire fraud brought by the Grand Jury were consolidated into one count and two new charges were added. In the first new charge, count three, Tulli was charged with failing to submit more than $800,000 in federal taxes over to the IRS. Tulli had contracted with yet another North Shore business, a scrap metal company, to handle all of its payroll services, including the calculating and payment of federal income taxes as well as Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) and medical account payments. Tulli was charged and admitted to diverting the taxes to accounts controlled by him and failing to submit the taxes to the federal government. In the fourth and final count, Tulli admitted to submitting a Form 2848 which designated the Power of Attorney for a taxpayer to the IRS claiming to be a certified public accountant representing the taxpayer on August 18, 2011, when Tulli’s CPA certificate was revoked by the Louisiana State Board of Certified Public Accountants of Louisiana in May 2010.
Speaking on today’s plea, Jim Lee, IRS Criminal Investigation Division, Special Agent in Charge of the New Orleans Office, stated:
“The failure to pay over withheld employment taxes is a very serious offense. IRS-Criminal Investigation intends to vigorously pursue anyone who collects taxes and fails to timely remit those taxes.”
If convicted, TULLI faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years on each of the wire and mail fraud counts, and five (5) years each on failure to submit taxes and false statement counts and a $100 special assessment per count. He could also be ordered to pay restitution to the North Shore businesses and the Internal Revenue Service. Tulli is incarcerated while awaiting sentencing.
The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Carter K. D. Guice, Jr.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org