FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- A Fairfield business owner waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty Thursday in Hartford federal court to one count of tax evasion, authorities said.
According to court documents and statements made in court, the defendant, Donald Biagi Jr., 55, is the sole owner of Don Biagi Landscaping, which generated business income for Biagi by providing landscaping and snow-plowing services to commercial and residential customers in Fairfield County.
Between 2008 and 2010, Biagi, who regularly negotiated client checks at banks for cash rather than depositing the checks into his business bank accounts, cashed approximately 574 client checks totaling approximately $848,750, according to prosecutors.
Biagi, who acted as his own bookkeeper, did not disclose to his tax return preparer the client checks he cashed and some of the client checks he deposited into his business account between 2008 and 2010, prosecutors said.
As a result, a total of $1,321,305 in business gross receipts were not reported on Biagi’s federal tax returns for 2008, 2009 and 2010, resulting in his substantially under-reporting his taxable income.
Biagi failed to report 62 percent of his business’s gross receipts in 2008, 47 percent of the gross receipts in 2009 and 60 percent of the gross receipts in 2010, prosecutors said.
When he is sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello, Biagi faces a maximum of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing date is not yet scheduled.
He has also agreed to repay the U.S. Treasury $445,579 in restitution for the taxes he failed to pay, and additional penalties and interest that have accrued on his unpaid taxes.
The matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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