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Greenwich Landscaper Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

A 48-year-old Greenwich man pleased guilty to tax evasion in his landscaping business, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
A 48-year-old Greenwich man pleased guilty to tax evasion in his landscaping business, according to the U.S. Justice Department. Photo Credit: U.S. Justice Department

A 48-year-old Greenwich man pleaded guilty on Thursday, March 15 to tax evasion.

Pasquale F. Furano waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven to one count of tax evasion, according to John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Furano is the sole owner of Pasquale Furano Landscaping, which generated business income by providing landscaping and snowplowing services to approximately 150 to 200 commercial and residential customers in Fairfield and Westchester counties.

For the 2009 through 2013 tax years, Furano underreported more than $2.5 million in gross receipts on his federal tax returns. For those five years, Furano falsely reported total taxable income of $264,697 when his actual total taxable income was $1,751,727. Consequently, he only paid a total of $44,213 in federal taxes when he actually owed an additional $540,182.

The investigation revealed that Furano evaded the payment of his federal taxes by negotiating approximately 2,436 client checks, totaling approximately $1,295,990, at the bank for cash rather than depositing the checks into his business accounts, sometimes cashing up to 38 checks in one day. Furano also did not disclose to his tax return preparer his receipt of cashed client checks and other deposited client checks.

Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for June 8, at which time Furano faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.

On October 16, 2014, IRS special agents conducted a court-authorized search of Furano’s residence and seized handwritten business records and $613,842 in cash. Furano has agreed that the seized cash will be applied to his outstanding tax liability. He also has agreed to make restitution to the IRS for the remaining penalties and interest for 2009 to 2013, which, as of Feb. 1, are estimated to be an additional $480,179. Furano also has agreed to pay the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services $112,360 in sales tax he collected from his customers from 2009 to 2013, but did not pay to the DRS.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.

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