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Director of Mis-Information – Filing False Returns

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Steven Russo of Pennsylvania pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and wire fraud after embezzling 2.79 million dollars from a former employer. Russo was the company’s Director of Information Technology from 2013 to 2018 and had access to his employer’s credit cards and lines of credit, which he used to make unauthorized payments to companies he owned or controlled. He used company funds to purchase items for personal use and that he sold, and had checks issued to companies he owned.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes offenses like embezzlement and tax fraud very seriously,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “Russo stole millions by abusing his trusted position with his former employer. My Office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect innocent businesses and taxpayers from being victimized by this type of fraud.”

“Not only did Mr. Russo steal millions of dollars from his employer, he also stole from the government and the American people when he decided to shirk his tax obligations,” said IRS-Criminal Investigations Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso. “His admission of guilt today underscores our commitment to protecting the integrity of the tax system by ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of taxes.”

In 2017 Russo reported his taxable income as $18,579 when in reality it was nearly one million dollars. He faces up to 23 years in prison as well as restitution, fines, supervised release and special assessments.

Reference: Criminal Tax Issues

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