East Lyme Fisherman Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Evasion Charge
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that PETER TORRES, 47, of East Lyme, Connecticut, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty yesterday before Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to one count of attempted tax evasion.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from 2006 to 2011, TORRES failed to file tax returns and report to the Internal Revenue Service approximately $1.27 million in gross income generated through his work as a commercial fishing boat captain. In pleading guilty, TORRES admitted that he was issued Forms 1099 that documented the income paid to him for each tax year, but he failed to timely file his tax returns as required and report the income and tax due to the IRS. In his plea agreement, TORRES agreed that the tax loss for this period is between $250,000 and $550,000.
TORRES also admitted that, in an effort to conceal his income from the IRS, he negotiated checks he received as payment for his fishing services by depositing them in the bank and, on the same day, withdrawing cash or obtaining bank checks in varying amounts under $10,000.
Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for February 22, 2016, at which time TORRES faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000. As part of his guilty plea, TORRES acknowledged that he attempted to evade the assessment and payment of his taxes for the 2006 through 2011 tax years and has agreed to enter into a payment plan with the IRS to repay the back taxes and applicable penalties and interest.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anastasia E. King.