Monmouth County, N.J., Heating And Air Conditioning Operator Sentenced To Five Months In Prison For Tax Evasion
CAMDEN, N.J. – A Monmouth County man who owned several air conditioning businesses was sentenced today to five months in prison and five months house arrest for evading payment of taxes and penalties over several years, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Mark Trawinski, 59, of Morganville, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez to an Information charging him with willfully attempting to evade payments of accrued employer’s quarterly federal taxes and the associated trust fund recovery penalties. Judge Rodriguez imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Trawinski owned and operated three heating and air conditioning businesses: Air Joy Service, Heating and Cooling Corp.; Air Joy Service Inc.; and Air Joy Sheet Metal. As the owner of those companies, Trawinski was required to report the employment taxes for all his employees to the IRS by filing IRS Form 941. Trawinski was also required to pay to the IRS the employment taxes for his employees on a quarterly basis. For various tax quarters ending between March 31, 2002, and Sept. 30, 2007, Trawinski filed Forms 941 for his various businesses, but did not pay the employment tax liabilities reported.
At various times between 2006 and 2008, the IRS assessed $713,759 in Trust Fund Recovery Penalties against Trawinski for the previously assessed employment tax liabilities and started collection actions against him. In 2005, Trawinski purchased a vacation home in Port Orange, Fla., for $1 million, although he caused the deed and mortgage to be placed in his mother’s name. Between 2005 and 2010, Trawinski made $544,673 in mortgage payments with checks drawn on the heating and air conditioning businesses’ bank accounts and other accounts.
In 2007, Trawinski filed a bankruptcy petition in an attempt to have his debts discharged. During the bankruptcy proceeding, he failed to list the Florida vacation home as an asset on his bankruptcy petition.
In June 2009, the Small Business/Self Employment Collections Division of IRS levied several of Trawinski’s bank accounts to recoup the trust fund recovery penalty. In November 2009, Trawinski met with an IRS agent and submitted a Collection Information Statement for Wage Earners and Self-Employed Individuals, which was signed under penalty of perjury. He failed to disclose his ownership of the Florida vacation home. Trawinski also falsely told the agent that his son ran the heating and cooling business even though his son had no experience in the business. Trawinski further said he was not receiving a salary and that he had no assets or income of any kind.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Trawinski to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $713,759 to the IRS.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense attorney: Michael Mattaliano Esq., Hackensack, N.J.