Part-time grant administrator pleads guilty to converting $57k from FEMA grant to his own use, filing false tax returns

 

Date: March 26, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Johnstown, PA — A resident of Hollidaysburg, PA waived indictment and pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of conversion of government funds and filing false tax returns, Acting United States Attorney Stephen R. Kaufman announced today.

Anthony Dibona pleaded guilty to five counts before United States District Judge Kim R. Gibson.

In connection with the guilty plea, on or about April 19, 2013, to on or about June 18, 2017, Dibona received and converted falsely to his own use a total of $57,242 in federally-funded grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, through payments made to him to which he was not entitled.

Further, when filing his original tax returns for tax years 2013, 2014, and 2015, Dibona omitted all grant income from his form 1040s, and made written declarations under the penalties of perjury, which he did not believe to be true and correct. After the IRS discovered that Dibona had received unreported income from the grant, Dibona was advised the grant income was taxable. Accordingly, Dibona through a tax preparer filed a first set of amended returns for the relevant tax years and added the grant income to his returns. However, on July 24 to July 25, 2018, Dibona went to a different tax preparer and filed a second set of amended returns removing the grant income, again making written declarations under the penalties of perjury which he did not believe to be true and correct. Similarly, Dibona also filed an original return for tax year 2017 and omitted his grant income. This conduct resulted in a total tax loss of $19,809.

Judge Gibson scheduled sentencing for August 2, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 22 years in prison, a fine of $1,250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Arnold P. Bernard, Jr. is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security – Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Dibona.