Rockport business owner charged with filing false tax returns


Date: July 10, 2023


BOSTON — The owner of a local landscaping company was charged today and has agreed to plead guilty in connection with a multi-year scheme to underreport income on his tax returns.

Steven O'Brien of Rockport, was charged with five counts of filing false tax returns. A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled by the Court.

According to the charging documents, O'Brien, the owner of Steve's Landscaping, Inc., cashed customer checks instead of depositing customer payments into his business bank accounts. It is alleged that O'Brien then did not report his income from the cashed checks on his corporate tax filings and personal tax returns for tax years 2016 through 2021, resulting in an income tax loss of more than $368,000.

The charge of filing false tax returns provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, up to one year of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of Levy's Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging document are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.