Federal officials claim that instead of paying taxes, a Mount Kisco business owner spent company money on cigars and "boat-related" expenses.
As a result of the allegations, Thomas Natasi III, owner of companies including Nastasi Maintenance & Construction, was indicted Thursday on three counts of willfully failing to pay federal payroll taxes, along with one count of obstructing the Internal Revenue Service.
“Thomas Nastasi’s employees had no way of knowing that the payroll taxes he withheld from their paychecks were allegedly underwriting his lavish lifestyle instead of being turned over to the IRS," said United States Attorney Preet Bharara in a press release. "Nastasi allegedly used his companies as vehicles through which he could cheat the IRS out of millions of dollars in revenue, and he now faces serious charges and potential penalties.”
Nastasi, according to the indictment, owned and operated his companies from 2001 to 2011 and accumulated more than $1 million in unpaid taxes. He did not pay a company share or employees' share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, the indictment claims.
The press release states: "Despite having income in excess of the threshold amount in each of the years from 2001 through 2008, and in 2010, NASTASI willfully and knowingly failed to file his Forms 1040 or to pay the full amount of his personal income taxes due for the years 2001 through 2008, and 2010 in a timely manner."
Natasi, the indictment alleges, spent tens of thousands in company funds on his personal use, including the "boat-related expenses" and $67,000 on cigars. He is also accused of giving false statements to the IRS when the agency tried to get delinquent tax returns collect back taxes
Each of the three failure to pay charges carry up to five years in prison, with the obstruction charge of up to three years. All of the charges include fine amounts that are the greater of $250,000 or "twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to the IRS, and restitution."