Connecticut Man, Carmine Bianco Sentenced for $4 Million Tax Fraud
(STL.News) A Weatogue, Connecticut man who conspired with an IRS officer to con the United States out of $4 million in overdue employment taxes has been sentenced to four years in federal prison, announced U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Chad E. Meacham.
Carmine Bianco, 49, pleaded guilty in September 2021 to conspiracy to defraud the United States. He was sentenced this week by Senior U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means, who ordered him to pay $4,744,326 in restitution.
According to plea papers, Mr. Bianco admitted that at the suggestion of Sonya Vivar – an IRS revenue officer with whom he was friends – he acquired the assets of three businesses that were delinquent on their employment taxes, including a restaurant, an emergency services medical company, and a rehabilitation center.
In contracts with the business owners, Mr. Bianco pledged to resolve the businesses’ tax liabilities. He did not. Instead, he transferred their assets into newly formed business entities, then continued to operate the businesses under different names without paying the delinquent taxes.
Meanwhile, Ms. Vivar made sure the businesses’ tax cases were assigned to her and used her position to ensure that Bianco’s companies would not have to pay the taxes owed.
Eventually, however, the rehabilitation center case was transferred to another revenue officer, who suspected fraud and referred the case to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and IRS – Criminal Investigations.
When she learned the case had been referred, Ms. Vivar made entries into IRS’s records system indicating Mr. Bianco was not responsible for paying employment taxes to the IRS. She then attempted to conceal her relationship with Mr. Bianco from federal investigators.
Ms. Vivar pleaded guilty in November 2020 to corrupt endeavor to obstruct or impede the due administration of internal revenue laws and was sentenced in July 2021 to three years in federal prison.
At Friday’s sentencing hearing, the judge found that due to the defendants’ crimes, the IRS lost the opportunity to collect more than $4 million in taxes and ordered restitution.
IRS – Criminal Investigations conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jay Weimer and Rob Boudreau prosecuted the case.