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Press Release

Former Rennselaer Corrections Officer Pleads Guilty To Felony

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

Instructed Restaurant Employees to Make False Statements to Federal Agents

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Former Rennselaer County Jail Corrections Officer Mark A. Piche, 44, of Poestenkill, New York, pled guilty yesterday before Chief United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe to corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the due administration of the internal revenue laws announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Special Agent-in-Charge Toni M. Weirauch, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, New York Field Office; and Lieutenant John D. Durling, Special Investigations Unit Albany, New York State Police. Sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Piche faces up to three years in prison, a $5,000 fine, one year of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

According to the plea agreement, between 2007 and 2011, Piche caused his restaurant, Red Front LLC in Troy, New York, to file false quarterly returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Those false returns underreported the Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes owed by Red Front as follows: $4,460.64 in 2007, $4,469.28 in 2008, $5,704.07 in 2009, $7,873.80 in 2010, and $6,777.75 in 2011. In addition, after learning that he was a target of a federal investigation, from December 15, 2011 through June 20, 2012, Piche instructed Red Front employees to make false statements to Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Criminal Investigation Division special agents conducting the criminal investigation. Specifically, Piche instructed Red Front employees to state falsely that Red Front had accurately reported and withheld taxes due on its employees’ wages, when as he knew, Red Front had fraudulently underreported employee wages from 2007 through 2011. When Piche instructed Red Front employees to make these false statements, he was trying to prevent the IRS from obtaining evidence that Red Front had fraudulently underreported its employees’ wages on its quarterly returns.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Albany Special Investigations Unit of the New York State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.

Updated January 29, 2015