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Press Release

Orange Landscaper Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Offense

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut

John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that THOMAS CAPECELATRO, 62, of Orange, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to one count of willful failure to account for and pay over more than $66,000 in employment taxes.


According to court documents and statements made in court, CAPECELATRO has owned and operated an unincorporated landscaping business known as Chestnut Ridge Landscaping (“Chestnut Ridge”) since approximately 1984.  From approximately October 2010 through 2013, CAPECELATRO caused Chestnut Ridge to withhold $42,322.64 in payroll taxes from its employees but failed to truthfully account for and pay over that money to the Internal Revenue Service.  During that same period, CAPECELATRO failed to pay $24,089.28 in federal employment taxes and $1,347.54 in federal unemployment taxes that Chestnut Ridge owed.  Chestnut Ridge also failed to file quarterly employment tax returns (Forms 941) with the IRS.


The total tax loss to the U.S. Treasury from October 2010 through 2013 was $67,759.46.


Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for February 21, 2018, at which time CAPECELATRO faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $10,000.  CAPECELATRO made restitution of $67,759.46 to the IRS in May 2017.


This matter has been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.

Updated November 28, 2017