Painting Contractor Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that RONALD S. BATTAGLIA, 66, of Stratford, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to filing false tax returns.
According to court documents and statements made in court, BATTAGLIA is the sole owner of Custom Painting, which provides interior and exterior painting services primarily in Fairfield County. During the 2008 through 2012 tax years, BATTAGLIA failed to provide his tax return preparer with information concerning an additional $867,656 in gross receipts he received in those years. The total tax reported as due on the five returns was $46,687, but BATTAGLIA willfully failed to report and pay an additional $277,582 in federal income taxes for those five years.
The investigation revealed that BATTAGLIA’s clients typically paid him by check. BATTAGLIA then cashed the checks at his bank and received currency for the full value of the check, or he made a split deposit, receiving some cash and depositing the balance into his business account. The amounts of the transactions were typically less than $10,000.
BATTAGLIA pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return, a charge that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $250,000. Judge Bolden scheduled sentencing for October 9, 2015.
BATTAGLIA has repaid the IRS $277,582 in restitution. He is still required to pay substantial penalties and interest that have accrued on his unpaid taxes.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed with the assistance of Law Student Intern Lisa Wang.