Construction contractor pleads guilty to tax evasion


Date: January 11, 2022


Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Thomas Fattorusso, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation ("IRS-CI"), announced that Mario G. Nunes pled guilty today to tax evasion and filing false federal income tax returns, before United States District Judge Nelson S. Román, in White Plains federal court.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: "As he admitted in court, the defendant engaged in a scheme to evade paying federal income taxes for years, including by concealing business income, making false statements to the IRS, and filing false federal income tax returns. Nunes has now pled guilty to federal crimes and faces time in federal prison, another example that attempting to conceal income and filing false returns are ultimately far costlier than filing accurate returns and paying one's taxes due."

IRS-CI Special Agent in Charge Thomas Fattorusso said: "Mr. Nunes attempted the cheat the system but the system caught up with him. Thanks to the efforts of our IRS-CI Special Agents, Mr. Nunes will now be held to account for the lies, evasion and false returns he used to shelter more than $1.5 million dollars from taxation."

According to the Information to which Nunes pled guilty and statements made in court:

Nunes was an independent contractor who performed construction work, including as a subcontractor for commercial and residential masonry and concrete projects. Nunes filed false federal income tax returns for tax years 2012 through 2017 and, from in or about March 2014 through in or about May 2019, orchestrated a scheme to evade payment of his unpaid assessed federal income taxes, including by falsely informing the IRS, in response to its collection efforts, that he was unemployed and relying on family and friends for living expenses. At the same time, Nunes concealed more than $1.5 million in business income by, among other things, depositing business receipts into personal bank accounts, cashing checks received from customers rather than depositing the funds into a bank account, and instructing customers to pay his suppliers directly.

Nunes of Yonkers, New York, pled guilty to one count of tax evasion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and six counts of subscribing to false tax returns, each of which carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Nunes has agreed to pay restitution to the IRS, representing the additional tax due and owing as a result of his conduct, in the amount of at least $330,833. Sentencing before Judge Román is scheduled for April 14, 2022, at 10 a.m.

The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for information purposes only, as any sentence imposed on the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of IRS-CI in this case.

The case is being prosecuted by the Office's White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman is in charge of the prosecution.