BOSTON - A resident of Dartmouth, formerly of Westport, was convicted today in federal court of conspiracy and tax evasion.
Timothy Barreira, 49, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to conspiracy to defraud the United States, tax evasion and failure to file taxes.
Had the case proceeded to trial the government’s evidence would have proven that between January 2003-September 2005, Barreira and his long-time girlfriend, identified in the indictment as co-conspirator A, conspired to defraud the government by engaging in a scheme to evade the assessment and collection of income taxes.
In 2007, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) disallowed Barreira’s taking of his daughter as a dependent on his 2005 and 2006 taxes. The IRS assessed Barreira an additional $6,000 in taxes and penalties, which he did not pay. Barreira then decided not to file federal tax returns or pay taxes. In fact, he did not file tax returns for more than 12 years, from 1997 until he was aware of the criminal investigation.
At the time he failed to file taxes, Barreira had amassed a large number of real estate properties, owing several residential and commercial properties in the Westport, Mass., area which he rented or otherwise financially benefitted from. Barreira collected rents from individuals and corporations alike, the most significant tenant in terms of dollars being two Dunkin Donuts franchises which operated on properties owned by Barreira and which paid him a large rents. Barreira also received other income from partnership interests and capital gains from property sales. In the years identified in the conspiracy count, 2003-2005, Barreira made $264,000, $287,000 and $485,000 respectively in taxable income and did not file or pay taxes in those years.
In order to evade the assessment and payment of taxes on this income, Barreira and co-conspirator A’s scheme used five primary methods to conceal his income and assets from the IRS. Those methods included: using cash extensively; cashing and negotiating third party checks, including rent checks, using co-conspirator A’s name, bank accounts or an entity, Norwest Holdings Inc., for which she was the nominee and authorized signatory to pay Barreira’s personal debts; filing false tax returns for Norwest Holdings, Inc., indicating that entity owned property which was actually owned by Barreira; and failing to file tax returns accurately reporting his income (or pay taxes thereon) on all income earned from rental payments from tenants, income from partnership interests, and capital gains income from property sales in which he had an interest.
Barreira and co-conspirator A committed various overt acts to further their conspiracy, including incorporating Norwest Holdings, Inc. and setting up its bank accounts, purchasing property in the name of Norwest Holdings, Inc., writing checks on Norwest Holdings, Inc.’s accounts for commercial debts owed by Barreira, filing false tax returns for Norwest Holdings, Inc., negotiating Barreira’s payroll checks through co-conspirator A’s personal bank accounts and Norwest Holdings, Inc.’s bank accounts, and having co-conspirator A write checks on her bank accounts to pay for Barreira’s personal expenses.
As to the tax evasion count, had the case gone to trial the government would have proven that between January1, 2004 and October 15, 2005, attempted to evade and defeat the assessment of income taxes due, in the amount of $55,581 for the calendar year 2004, by failing to timely report his federal income tax liabilities and by hiding his income. Those acts included instructing renters to pay him in cash, making mortgage payment in cash at a bank teller’s window, using a nominee as owner of a company he personally owned, endorsing checks payable to himself to co-conspirator A, and using co-conspirator A and Norwest Holdings, Inc. to negotiate checks made payable to himself.
Finally, as to the charges of failure to file income taxes, the government would have proven that Barreira did not pay income taxes on received gross income of more than $8,200 in 2005 and $8,750 in 2007. Further, he failed to file income tax returns for those years.
Judge Tauro scheduled sentencing for June 6, 2012. Barreira faces up to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine or twice the tax loss, whichever is greater on the conspiracy and tax evasion charges.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; Westport Chief of Police Keith A. Pelletier; and Anthony DiPaolo, Chief of Investigations, Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Freniere of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.