Boston - A Dartmouth man, formerly of Westport, was sentenced today in federal court for conspiracy and tax evasion.
Timothy Barreira, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro to two years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release, a $50,000 fine and $321,506 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. Barreira pleaded guilty on March 12, 2012.
From January 2003 through at least September 2005, Barreira and his long-time girlfriend, identified as co-conspirator A, conspired to defraud the United States by engaging in a scheme to evade the assessment and collection of income taxes. By way of background, in 1997 the IRS disallowed Barreira’s taking of his daughter as a dependent on his 1995 and 1996 taxes. The IRS assessed Barreira an additional $6,000 in taxes and penalties, which he did not pay; nor did he file federal tax returns or pay taxes. In fact, Barreira did not file tax returns for more than 12 years thereafter, from 1997 until he was aware of this 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 being two Dunkin Donuts franchises, which paid him a significant rent. Barreira also received other income from partnership interests and capital gains from property sales. From 2003 to 2005, Barreira made $264,000, $287,000 and $485,000 respectively in taxable income and did not file or pay taxes.
In order to evade the assessment and payment of taxes on this income, after 1997 Barreira ceased to have a financial identity. He stopped using any bank accounts in his name, he used shell entities to conceal his ownership of numerous residential and commercial properties in Westport and surrounding towns and he directed that his daily finances be conducted by co-conspirator A. As for his own day-to-day dealings, Barreira used cash almost exclusively to conduct any business, including paying his monthly mortgage using cash delivered to a bank teller.
As to the tax evasion count, between January 1, 2004 and October 15, 2005, Barreira, evaded the assessment of income taxes, in the amount of $55,581 (for 2004), by failing to timely report his federal income tax liabilities and by hiding his income. This included instructing renters to pay him in cash, making mortgage payments 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, Barreira received gross income of more than $8,200 in 2005 and $8,750 in 2007, and was required by law to file taxes, which he failed to file.
Judge Tauro set Barreira’s self report date on Nov. 19, 2012, in part so that Barreira can appear in New Bedford District Court on animal cruelty charges stemming from an equine death on Barreira’s farm, Driftway Farms, Westport in February 2011.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Chief Keith A. Pelletier of the Westport Police Department; and Anthony DiPaolo, Chief of Investigations, Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane C. Freniere of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.