Solon accountant charged with defrauding the IRS
A two-count criminal information was filed today charging a Solon accountant with conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and attempting to interfere with the administration of Internal Revenue laws, said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman and IRS Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner.
Patrick DiPietro, 51, conspired with two other people and a company owned by the other people between 2007 and 2012 to impede the lawful function of the IRS in the assessment and collection of revenue, while enriching themselves with the tax savings.
The scheme involved checks being written from the company’s bank account payable to another entity controlled by DiPietro, purportedly as payments for rent and other business expenses. DiPietro deposited the checks into an account he controlled and then wrote checks back to the two individuals for approximately 90 percent of the amounts received, with DiPietro keeping approximately 10 percent as his “fee” for conducting the transactions, according to the information.
DiPietro also prepared federal income tax returns for the individuals and their business for 2007 through 2011 which falsely understated taxable income and overstated business deductions, according to the information.
During the IRS criminal investigation, DiPietro provided various fraudulent documents to the investigating agents in an attempt to legitimize or explain the checks written to his business entity from the other individuals’ business, including a commercial lease, a stock option agreements, a promissory note. None of the documents were, in fact, legitimate or had ever been executed by the parties, according to the information.
“This defendant enriched himself by taking money that should have been going into the U.S. Treasury,” Herdman said.
“Conspiring to impede the IRS by creating business checks for expenses not actually incurred and receiving a ‘kickback’ from those fraudulent business checks is not tax savings, but rather a recipe for criminal prosecution,” said Ryan L. Korner, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert W. Kern following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
An information is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.