Date: December 10, 2021 Contact: email@example.com Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in New England, today announced that Matthew V. Blackwell of Woodbridge, waived his right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Sarah A.L. Merriam in New Haven to one count of tax evasion. According to court documents and statements made in court, Blackwell was the Vice President of Operations at a family-owned food company based in Orange. Between approximately 2012 and 2016, Blackwell embezzled $927,143 from the company by creating false purchase orders and invoices that he presented to the company controller, who had no knowledge of their fraudulent nature. The company issued payment checks that Blackwell deposited in a business checking account that he had opened and controlled. In pleading guilty, Blackwell admitted that he willfully filed federal income tax returns that omitted the embezzled income for the 2012 through 2016 tax years, resulting in a tax loss of $285,361 to the IRS. Judge Merriam scheduled sentencing for March 2, 2022, at which time Blackwell faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $100,000. Blackwell has agreed to pay $285,361 in back taxes, as well as interest and penalties. Blackwell is released on a $50,000 bond pending sentencing. This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Chen.