Torrington Man Involved in Kickback Scheme Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Tax Evasion
John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that SERAFINO CANINO, 53, of Torrington, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to 18 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for tax evasion.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Canino was employed by, and had an ownership interest in, Innovative Concepts Corporation (“ICC”), a company that manufactured and distributed small power and hand tools. ICC contracted with factories in Asia through intermediaries located in Taiwan. The intermediaries negotiated with the factories in Asia, ensured the shipment of manufactured products to ICC, and invoiced ICC for the manufacturing of its products.
From 2008 through 2011, Canino engaged in fraudulent billing using two of ICC’s intermediaries in Taiwan. Canino instructed the intermediaries to charge ICC an inflated price and kick back the overage to Canino using overseas bank accounts and an overseas corporate entity. Through this scheme, Canino improperly received more than $633,000 in income. Canino failed to disclose this illegal income to his accountants who prepared his federal tax returns, and he failed to report the income on his 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax returns. The total tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service was $186,358.
Judge Underhill ordered Canino to cooperate with the IRS to pay more than $430,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.
On September 24, 2018, Canino pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion.
Canino is required to report to prison on June 5, 2019.
This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Susan L. Wines.