Connecticut Man Who Used Offshore Accounts Sentenced to Prison for Tax Evasion and Conspiracy
John Cote, formerly of Danielson, Connecticut, was sentenced today to serve 46 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Vanessa Bryant, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. Cote was convicted in January 2014 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 sitting in Hartford. Cote was also ordered to pay restitution of $222,691 and to serve three years of supervised release following his release from prison.
According to court documents and evidence produced at trial, Cote did not file 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 introduced at trial 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. Starting in 1998, Cote caused the companies for which he worked to pay his compensation to nominee entities, sometimes 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.
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. Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Keneally of the Tax Division commended the special agents and the prosecutors, and thanked U.S. Attorney Deirdre M. Daly for the District of Connecticut and her office for their assistance.