MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. — A Mount Kisco man was charged with failing to pay payroll tax and obstructing the IRS, according to an indictment filed Thursday in Manhattan Federal Court.
Thomas Nastasi III, 45, owner of a series of construction and maintenance companies, was charged with three counts of willful failure to pay the IRS payroll taxes collected from the employees of his company, Nastasi Maintenance & Construction, and one count of impeding and impairing the lawful functioning of the IRS.
The withheld payroll taxes included the employees’ income taxes, Social Security and Medicare taxes, which added up to more than $1 million, according to the indictment. Nastasi also allegedly failed to pay the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare taxes for his employees.
Despite having income in excess of the threshold amount from 2001 through 2008, and in 2010, Nastasi is also accused of knowingly failing to pay the full amount of his personal income taxes due for those years in a timely manner.
Nastasi allegedly used the payroll funds to pay tens of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, for items including boat-related expenses, and $67,000 in cigar purchases. He is also accused of making false statements to the IRS in the course of their attempts to collect the taxes he owed.
“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 U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement released Thursday. "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,”
Each of the three counts of failure to pay carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to the IRS.
The one count of obstructing Internal Revenue laws carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of the greatest of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or twice the gross loss to the IRS.
Also involved in the case were Richard Weber, chief of the IRS's Criminal Investigation division, and Kathy Keneally, the assistant attorney general for the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.