Former Rensselaer County Corrections Officer Sentenced
Instructed Restaurant Employees to Make False Statements to Federal Agents
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Former Rensselaer County Corrections Officer Mark A. Piche, age 47, of Poestenkill, New York, was sentenced today to 1 year of probation and to pay a $5,000 fine for obstructing the administration of the internal revenue laws.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation; and New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II.
Piche pled guilty on September 9, 2013 to instructing employees of his restaurant, Red Front LLC in Troy, New York, to make false statements to Special Agents from IRS-Criminal Investigation, who were investigating the restaurant’s tax filings and payments.
Between 2007 and 2011, Piche caused Red Front to file false quarterly returns with the IRS. Those false returns underreported the payroll and employment 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. From December 15, 2011 through June 20, 2012, Piche instructed Red Front employees to state falsely to federal agents that Red Front had accurately reported and withheld taxes due on its employees’ wages.
As part of his sentence, issued by Senior U.S. District Judge Gary L. Sharpe, Piche must pay restitution in the amount of $29,285.54 to the U.S. Department of Treasury. In 2012, Piche was required to resign his position as a corrections officer with the Rensselaer County Sherriff’s Office, as a precondition to his entering into a plea agreement with the government.
This case was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Albany Special Investigations Unit of the New York State Police, and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.