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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Martha’s Vineyard CPA Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

BOSTON – A Vineyard Haven CPA pleaded guilty today to filing false tax returns in which he underreported more than $800,000 in income for three years.

Roger A. Armstrong, 61, pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with three counts of filing false tax returns.  U.S. District Court Judge Indira Talwani scheduled sentencing for April 28, 2015.

Armstrong, a CPA and tax preparer who lived and worked on Martha's Vineyard, owned rental property in Massachusetts and Florida.   As a sole proprietor, Armstrong was required to accurately report his gross receipts and his business profit or loss on his individual income tax returns and also was to report any rental income he received.  For tax years 2009 through 2011, Armstrong filed tax returns in which he significantly underreported both his business gross receipts and his rental income.  For these three tax years, Armstrong did not report a total of approximately $790,000 in gross receipts and approximately $47,000 in rental income.  As a result of the underreporting, Armstrong did not pay $200,000 in taxes.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than three years in prison, one year of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater for each count.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Sandra S. Bower of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

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Updated January 22, 2015