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Ex-Greenwich Auto Shop Boss Sentenced on Tax Rap

GREENWICH, Conn. – A former Greenwich auto shop manager who embezzled more than $700,000 from his employer was sentenced to 18 months in prison Friday for filing false tax returns.

Eugene Ceriello, 48, of Stamford, managed Greenwich Automotive Services, which is no longer in business, for 10 years, according to court documents. He had control of day-to-day operations and access to computerized records. Ceriello was convicted of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from the business over several years, including cash generated from vehicle repair services as well as the sale of gas.

From 2004 to 2008, Ceriello deposited $707,485 in embezzled cash into his bank account and failed to pay federal taxes on it. In 2008, he deposited $191,000 in cash into his bank account, but reported only $52,580 in income on his federal tax return.

Ceriello pleaded guilty June 2, 2011, to one count of filing a false tax return and admitted he willfully filed false returns for 2006, 2007 and 2008. On Friday, the court ordered Ceriello to pay the Internal Revenue Service a total of $295,841.92 in back taxes, penalties and interest. Following his prison sentence, Ceriello will be subject to one year of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the IRS, the Secret Service and the Greenwich Police Department.

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