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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Stoneham Trash Hauler Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

BOSTON – A Stoneham businessman pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Boston to tax evasion in connection with under-reporting more than $800,000 in gross receipts.    

Robert Sinclair, 72, owner of Sinclair Trucking in Stoneham, Mass., pleaded guilty to attempting to evade taxes.  U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing Aug. 10, 2016. 

For many years, Sinclair owned and operated a waste management and trash hauling business in Stoneham.  Some of his larger customers reported the payments they made to Sinclair on tax return form 1099 which they submitted to the IRS and to Sinclair, while smaller customers did not report the payments they made to Sinclair on Forms 1099.   When Sinclair filed his tax returns, he generally reported only the amounts he had been paid by customers who provided Forms 1099, but not the payments from his customers who did not produce a Form 1099. 

During audits of his tax returns in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2009, IRS agents questioned Sinclair about discrepancies between the amounts he reported on his tax returns and the amounts he deposited into his business bank account.  Sinclair falsely told the agents that the discrepancies were due to cash loans from a relative, when in fact, all of the deposits into the business bank account during these tax years were checks from customers.   As a result, Sinclair evaded $239,446 in taxes.

The charge of tax evasion provides a sentence of no greater than five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.  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 Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra S. Bower of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit. 

Updated May 11, 2016