News and Press Releases

Monmouth county, n.J., heating and air conditioning operator pleads guilty to tax evasion



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2012


 

CAMDEN, N.J. – A Monmouth County man who owned several air conditioning businesses today admitted evading payment of taxes and penalties over a number of years, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Mark Trawinski, 58, of Morganville, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court to an Information charging him with willfully attempting to evade payments of accrued employer’s quarterly federal taxes and the associated trust fund recovery penalties.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Trawinski owned and operated heating and air conditioning businesses, including Air Joy Service, Heating and Cooling Corp.; Air Joy Service Inc.; and Air Joy Sheet Metal. As the owner of those companies, Trawinski was required to report the employment taxes for all his employees to the IRS by filing IRS Forms 941. Trawinski was also required to pay to the IRS the employment taxes for his employees on a quarterly basis. For various tax quarters ending in March 31, 2002, through September 30, 2007, Trawinski filed Forms 941 for his various businesses, but did not pay the employment tax liabilities reported on the Forms 941.

At various times between 2006 and 2008, the IRS assessed $713,759 in Trust Fund Recovery Penalties against Trawinski for the previously assessed employment tax liabilities and started collection actions against him. In 2005, Trawinski purchased a vacation home in Port Orange, Fla., for $1 million, although he caused the deed and mortgage to be placed in his mother’s name. Between 2005 and 2010, Trawinski made $544,673 in mortgage payments with checks drawn on the heating and air conditioning businesses’ bank accounts and other accounts.

In 2007, Trawinski filed a bankruptcy petition in an attempt to have his debts discharged. During the bankruptcy proceeding, he failed to list the Port Orange property as an asset on his bankruptcy petition.

In June 2009, the Small Business/Self Employment Collections Division of IRS levied several of Trawinski’s bank accounts to recoup the trust fund recovery penalty. In November 2009, Trawinski met with an IRS agent and submitted a Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals, which was signed under penalty of perjury. He failed to disclose his ownership of the vacation home in Port Orange. Trawinski also falsely told the agent that his son ran the heating and cooling business even though his son had no experience in the business. Trawinski further said he was not receiving a salary and that he had no assets or income of any kind.

The charges to which Trawinski pleaded guilty are punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2012.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.

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Defense attorney: Michael Mattaliano Esq., Hackensack, N.J.

Trawinski, Mark Information

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