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Press Release

Texas Man Who Earned Millions Working Overseas Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs
Defendant Evaded More Than $1 Million in Taxes and Impeded the Investigation

A Texas man pleaded guilty today to evading his federal income taxes.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2013 to 2018, Peter Joseph Tignini worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar, earning approximately $4,783,031 in income that he deposited into foreign bank accounts. From2013 through 2017, Tignini filed tax returns falsely reporting that his income was only approximately $100,000 each year, an amount near or below the Foreign Earned Income (FEI) exclusion, which allows a U.S. citizen who lives and works in a foreign country for the majority of a year to exclude a portion of their income earned outside the United States from their taxable income. Tignini did not file a return for 2018. As a result, Tignini caused a tax loss to the IRS of $1,169,348.

After IRS Special Agents interviewed Tignini, he used an internet application to alter his employment contract and payroll documents to make them appear as if Tignini’s former employer was responsible for submitting his tax returns and paying the corresponding taxes due. Tignini then caused his attorneys to provide the fraudulent documents he had created to the Justice Department’s Tax Division and the IRS. After investigators asked a witness about the internet application Tignini used to create the phony documents, Tignini attempted to delete the documents from his account.

Tignini faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison, as well as a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani for the Southern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Ramsey E. Covington of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Houston Field Office made the announcement.

IRS-CI is investigating the case.

Senior Litigation Counsel Sean Beaty and Trial Attorney Brian Flanagan of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Goldman for the Southern District of Texas are prosecuting the case.

Updated August 21, 2023

Press Release Number: 23-897