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United States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
Press Release

January 18, 2007

Bowling alley owner pays more than 1.6 million to the IRS

Kevin J. O’Connor, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that CHARLES W. LANZA, age 52, of Wolcott, Connecticut, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Christopher F. Droney in Hartford to six months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. Judge Droney also ordered LANZA to perform 200 hours of community service and to pay a fine in the amount of $5000. On October 3, 2005, LANZA waived indictment and pleaded guilty to one count of income tax evasion and one count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, admitting that he failed to pay more than $800,000 in taxes on revenue generated by three bowling alleys that he owned.

According to documents filed with the Court and statements made in court, LANZA owned and operated several bowling alleys and bars in Connecticut, including Bristol Ten Pin in Bristol, Lakewood Lanes in Waterbury and T-Bowl in Wallingford. From 1998 to 2002, LANZA devised a scheme and conspired with others to skim a portion of the cash profits generated by the businesses and failed to report more than $2.3 million in income to the Internal Revenue Service. LANZA concealed the receipt of this taxable income, retained the income for his personal use, and caused the preparation, signing and filing of federal tax returns resulting in an underpayment to the IRS of $806,087.

LANZA has admitted that he instructed certain employees of his businesses to take money received from the cash registers, certain bowling promotions, vending machines, game machines, pool tables, and other sources of cash income, place these monies in a bag, and have the bag delivered to him on a weekly basis. LANZA then kept the money for his personal use. LANZA recorded the amount of skimmed cash in several notebooks that he has provided to the IRS.

LANZA also admitted that he paid for certain personal expenses with his corporate credit card and later deducted those expenses on his tax returns.

During today’s sentencing proceeding, the Government noted that LANZA progressively skimmed more money out of businesses during each year of the conspiracy. By the end of the scheme, in 2002, LANZA reported only $14,165 in taxable income to the IRS. LANZA’s unreported income for the same year was $649,428.

Over the Government’s objection, Judge Droney sentenced LANZA below the federal sentencing guidelines range of 30 to 37 months of imprisonment based on LANZA’s history of charitable and civic participation, and concerns about LANZA’s health.

LANZA has paid approximately $1,632,000 in taxes, penalties and interest to the IRS in order to satisfy his outstanding tax liabilities. In order to pay this debt, LANZA sold a 19-room, 10,000 square foot home that he previously owned in Wolcott. He has also sold two of his bowling alleys.

“It’s important to note that, in this end, this defendant was required to pay more than double the amount that he cheated the Government out of in the first place,” U.S. Attorney O’Connor stated. “On top of that, he is now a convicted felon who will spend some time behind bars. Simply put, the risk isn’t worth it. Business owners, especially those who handle a significant amount of cash, are required to report and pay their taxes fairly and accurately. Failure to do may very well result in federal criminal prosecution.”

This case was investigated by agents with the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Raymond F. Miller.




Tom Carson
(203) 821-3722





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