A Bayonne man was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for tax evasion and bankruptcy fraud, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
According to federal officials, Patrick Franconeri, 57, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian R. Martinotti to an information charging him with one count of tax evasion and one count of concealment of assets in bankruptcy. Judge Martinotti imposed the sentence by videoconference June 24.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Franconeri was the owner and operator of several construction businesses that performed work for a major insurance company in New Jersey.
During tax year 2014, as a result of the operation of the construction companies, Franconeri earned taxable income of $1,362,950, on which there was an income tax owing to the United States of $558,439.
However, Franconeri failed to file a tax return or request an extension for that year.
Franconeri took actions to conceal and attempt to conceal his income so that he would not have to pay taxes on it, including cashing checks at check-cashing facilities so that the money would not come to the attention of the IRS.
Franconeri also filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in U.S. District Court in Newark on March 11, 2010, but knowingly and fraudulently concealed property belonging to his bankruptcy estate from the United States Trustee.
Franconeri concealed and failed to disclose his ownership and operation of his construction companies, as well as $965,575 in income he had received in the prior two years as the owner and operator of his construction companies.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Martinotti sentenced Franconeri to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $716,569 to the victims of his bankruptcy offense and $558,349 in restitution to the IRS.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to the sentencing.