Dracut Attorney Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns
BOSTON – A Dracut attorney pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston yesterday to filing false federal tax returns.
John F. Paczkowski, 73, pleaded guilty to two counts of filing false personal tax returns for 2009 and 2010. U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole scheduled sentencing for Feb. 16, 2017.
Paczkowski operated a legal office in Dracut as a sole practitioner. In this capacity, he was required by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers and the Rules of Professional Conduct to hold client funds in a trust separate from his own funds. However, Paczkowski embezzled and misappropriated funds from the trust account and used clients’ funds for his own uses. Paczkowski failed to report to the IRS more than $630,000 he took from clients and failed to pay more than $192,000 in federal taxes.
The charging statute provides for a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. Sentences are imposed by the federal district judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other sentencing factors.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A. Wild of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.