Delaware county mushroom farm owner admits to tax fraud


Date: May 26, 2022


PHILADELPHIA — Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty announced that Donna Fecondo, a/k/a Donna Silvestri Fecondo (hereinafter Fecondo) of Garnet Valley, PA, pled guilty to charges of failing to collect and pay over employment taxes and failing to file returns.

Fecondo was the president and sole owner of Joseph Silvestri & Sons, a/k/a Joseph Silvestri & Son, Inc. ("JSSI"). JSSI was a business operating a mushroom farm, with its principal place of business in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania. As the sole owner of JSSI, Fecondo was responsible for collecting, accounting for, and paying over employment Taxes. JSSI paid its employees weekly and was required by the IRS to electronically deposit its payroll taxes weekly.

Fecondo did not timely file Forms 943, Employer's Annual Federal Tax Return for Agricultural Employees (hereinafter Form 943), for tax years 2013 through 2016. Instead, Fecondo filed the Forms 943 for tax years 2013 through 2016 in or about July 2017, well after the due dates and after the Internal Revenue Service had contacted her about her failure to file or pay employment taxes.

Although Fecondo reported substantial payroll taxes due and owing on the Form 943 for tax years 2013 through 2016 that she made in July 2017, and although JSSI withheld employment taxes from JSSI'S Employees' wages, Fecondo did not pay over any employment taxes to the IRS for those tax years. In total, for tax years 2013 through 2016, Fecondo should have withheld and paid over to the IRS a total of approximately $1,255,068.94 in employment taxes, but instead paid over nothing. Of this amount, Fecondo should have withheld and paid over to the IRS a total of approximately $599,159.94 related to tax years 2015 and 2016, but instead paid over nothing.

Fecondo also failed to file her 2015 and 2016 personal income tax returns even though she knew that she was required by law to file a tax return for each of those years. Furthermore, Fecondo failed to file corporate tax returns on behalf of JSSI for tax years 2015 and 2016.

"Fecondo has now admitted to shirking her responsibility to withhold and remit payroll taxes to the IRS—a violation of federal tax laws," said IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Yury Kruty. "We continue to see the negative impact crimes like these have on employees' future benefits, hence we remain relentless in our efforts to protect the integrity of our nation's tax system."

Fecondo will be sentenced on September 27, 2022.

The total maximum sentence is 14 years' imprisonment and a $900,000 fine, together with the costs of prosecution, a three-year period of supervised release, and $600 special assessment. Full restitution up to $3,810,427 may also be ordered.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen Grigsby.