Connecticut Man Convicted of Tax Evasion and Conspiracy Charges
The Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that John Cote, formerly of Danielson, Conn., was convicted today of four counts of tax evasion along with conspiracy to defraud the IRS following a jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.
According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, Cote had not filed a timely or valid tax return for the years 1995 through 2009, despite earning income from his work as a consultant in the high technology welding industry. The evidence showed that Cote and his wife responded to IRS efforts to assess and collect taxes by concealing income and assets from the government and by submitting obstructive letters and other documents, including false criminal complaints against IRS employees. From 1998 to 2009, Cote caused the companies for which he worked to pay his compensation to nominee entities, including through accounts in Costa Rica and Sweden. Cote also used a nominee entity in his wife’s name to conceal income and assets from the IRS and in 2003, Cote's wife conveyed their personal residence to this entity.
Following the jury verdict, U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant scheduled Cote’s sentencing for April 16, 2014, and Cote remains detained pending sentencing. For each of the five counts of conviction, Cote faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.
The case was investigated by special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation. Trial Attorneys Jennifer Laraia, Melissa Siskind and Jeffrey McLellan of the Tax Division prosecuted the case.