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Press Release

Long Island Business-Owner Sentenced For Diverting Over $1.6 Million From His Companies And Evading Taxes

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

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JOSEPH CICCARELLA was sentenced last Friday to 18 months in prison for evading taxes on over $1.6 million that he siphoned from construction-related companies he owned to use for personal purposes. Through the scheme, CICCARELLA evaded over $280,000 in personal income taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). CICCARELLA pled guilty on November 3, 2016, before United States District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein, who imposed today’s sentence.


Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Joseph Ciccarella used his companies and third party vendors as a means to funnel over $1.6 million for his own use without paying his proper share of taxes on that money. Ciccarella would issue checks from his companies claiming they were corporate expenses when in fact they were sham checks that would simply be cashed and be returned to him for his use. For his tax fraud scheme, Ciccrealla will now face 18 months in federal prison. We thank the IRS Criminal Investigation for the terrific work on this case.”


According to the allegations in the Information to which CICCARELLA pled guilty, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and statements made in court proceedings:


CICCARELLA was the owner of two New York companies involved in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning business – BSI Consulting (“BSI”) and KMS Mechanical (“KMS”). During the period 2009-2012, CICCARELLA drew numerous checks on the bank accounts of BSI and KMS and made them payable to third party corporate entities, even though those third party companies performed no services for, and provided no goods to, CICCARELLA’s companies. Instead, CICCARELLA had entered into a corrupt arrangement with the owners of the payee companies that the checks he drew on the accounts of BSI and KMS would be cashed at check cashers in the New York metropolitan area and the cash returned to CICCARELLA, less a fee CICCARELLA paid to the third parties for cashing the checks.


Between 2009 and 2012, CICCARELLA siphoned over $1.6 million from BSI and KMS in this fashion, which monies he caused to be falsely listed on the books and tax returns of those companies as “cost of goods sold.” CICCARELLA did not pay taxes on the funds he siphoned from his companies even though he used those funds for personal purposes, such as to provide funding for a separate set of companies he owned, as well as to pay for personal expenses.


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In addition to his prison term, CICCARELLA, 54, of Glen Head, New York, was sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine. CICCARELLA had previously paid the $284,000 in restitution that was due the IRS.


Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the IRS, Criminal Investigations.


This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Special Assistant United States Attorney Stanley J. Okula Jr. is in charge of prosecution.

Updated March 7, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-073