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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 1, 2021

Rochester-Area Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Money Laundering and Tax Offenses

Michael Bartusek was Chief Financial Officer of a New Hartford, New York Company

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Michael Bartusek, age 58, of Fairport, New York, pled guilty today to wire fraud, money laundering, and filing a false tax return.

The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon of the Northern District of New York; United States Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. of the Western District of New York; Thomas Relford, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Inspector in Charge Joseph Cronin, Boston Division, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS); and Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge, New York Field Office, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).

As part of his guilty plea, Bartusek admitted that, from the summer of 2015 through the end of 2016, he defrauded his employer of approximately $776,000 which he used to invest in a high-risk scheme to purchase and sell diamonds from overseas, hoping to profit personally from their sale and return the money he stole from his employer before his fraud was discovered. Instead, the diamond investment failed, and the money was lost. Bartusek also admitted that, as part of his diamond scheme, he and two others solicited investments for a company called Integra Diamonds by materially false and fraudulent representations in an effort to recover investment funds that had been lost, including the money Bartusek stole from his employer.

In addition to the fraud and money laundering charges, Bartusek pled guilty to filing a false tax return for tax year 2015, and he admitted that he underreported his total income that tax year by approximately $123,000. He admitted further that he underreported his total income for the 2016 tax year by approximately $46,000.

Sentencing is set for July 28, 2021, before Senior United State District Court Judge Thomas J. McAvoy. Bartusek faces upon to 20 years in prison on the fraud conviction, 10 years in prison on the money laundering conviction, and 3 years in prison on the tax conviction. The judge also could impose a term of supervised release of up to three years. In addition to imprisonment and supervised release, Bartusek faces a fine of up to $250,000, and as part of his plea agreement Bartusek agreed to be subject to a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $946,000. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statutes the defendant violated, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Gadarian and Nicolas Commandeur of the Northern District of New York and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Kruly of the Western District of New York.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Updated April 1, 2021