Detroit-Area Men Plead Guilty to Tax Evasion
WASHINGTON – Two Michigan residents pleaded guilty to tax evasion, the Justice Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced today. A federal grand jury in Detroit returned an indictment against David A. Cusumano and Henry Nino in January 2011.
According to court documents, Cusumano was a mechanical engineer from Plymouth, Mich., and Nino was an electrician from Northville, Mich. Both men admitted to committing tax evasion by failing to file income tax returns and maintaining Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificates (IRS Forms W-4) with their employers that falsely claimed they were exempt from tax withholding.
According to court documents, both men admitted to using the services of Florida-based tax fraud promoter American Rights Litigators/Guiding Light of God Ministries (ARL/GLGM). Nino and Cusumano both paid ARL/GLGM to submit false and obstructive correspondence to the IRS and to their banks, and to submit complaints to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration that falsely accused IRS employees of criminal conduct.
According to court documents, Nino attempted to prevent the IRS from collecting his unpaid taxes for the years 1996, 1997 and 2000-2003 by transferring title of his personal residence to a nominee entity called the Michigan Natural Group, using money orders to make mortgage payments, cashing paychecks rather than depositing them in a bank account, and submitting fake financial instruments to the Department of the Treasury in purported payment of his tax liabilities.
According to court documents, in addition to the actions carried out by ARL/GLGM on his behalf, Cusumano attempted to evade the assessment of his 2003-2008 taxes by failing to file tax returns for each of these years as required by law and by submitting fake financial instruments to the Department of the Treasury in purported payment of his tax liabilities.
In August 2004, a federal district judge permanently enjoined the operators of ARL from the sale of a nationwide tax scam. In April 2008, a federal court in Florida sentenced two promoters of ARL, as well as ARL client Wesley Snipes, to prison for tax offenses. In August 2010, three promoters of ARL were each sentenced in the District of Columbia to 10 years in prison, along with ARL founder Eddie Ray Kahn, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
The total tax loss associated with Nino’s conduct, for sentencing purposes, is $366,088 and the total tax loss associated with Cusumano’s conduct, for sentencing purposes is $390,185.
The charges against Cusumano and Nino carry a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 20, 2011.
The case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Melissa Siskind and Jeffrey McLellan are prosecuting the case.
More information about the Justice Department’s Tax Division and its enforcement efforts is available at www.justice.gov/tax/ .