DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES RECOVERY OF MORE THAN $1.3 MILLION IN TAX REVENUES FROM BROOKLYN SPORTS BAR OWNER

Defendant Pleads Guilty to Defrauding City and State Over a Five-Year Period

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of the principal owner of The Kettle Black, a popular sports bar and restaurant in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, for stealing more than $1.3 million in City and State sales taxes between June 1, 2005, and August 31, 2010. THOMAS CASATELLI, 40, pleaded guilty to one count each of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

“By failing to pay his taxes, the defendant stole from the pockets of honest taxpayers,” said District Attorney Vance. “Our Office will continue its effort to protect hardworking New Yorkers by launching proactive investigations, such as this one, to ferret out systematic tax cheating.”

According to documents filed in court, CASATELLI is the majority owner of The Kettle Black, located at 8622 Third Avenue at the corner of 87th Street in Brooklyn. The defendant has agreed to pay taxes, insurance premiums, accrued interest and penalties totaling $1,326,940. CASATELLI admitted in court that he failed to remit to the State over $470,000 in sales tax collected from The Kettle Black, which is approximately 70 percent of the sales tax collected from the restaurant’s customers. The defendant also submitted false sales tax returns with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. CASATELLI achieved this by underreporting the gross receipts of Kettle Black. He also paid most of his employees “off-the-books,” and therefore he failed to collect withholding tax from them or unemployment insurance tax. The defendant also underpaid insurance premiums on his workers’ compensation insurance policy. Additionally, a portion of the unreported gross receipts representing income earned by CASATELLI was omitted from his New York personal income tax returns.

New York City Department of Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel said: “The City’s Department of Finance identified The Kettle Black as part of an innovative data-matching program to help identify businesses that are cheating the City out of revenue for vital services. We are building models, reforming processes and finding new ways to use data to identify the bad actors and refer them to the District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. We will protect the vast majority of New Yorkers who play by the rules.”

New York State Department of Taxation Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward said: “This resolution of the case illustrates the Department's determination to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute violations of the tax law. By working together we can ensure that those who seek to break the law will be prosecuted. I wish to commend DA Vance and his team for their effort on the case."

New York State Insurance Fund Chief Deputy Executive Director Francine James said: “The New York State Insurance Fund is grateful for the work of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in this case. Our investigators work closely with local law enforcement to pursue workers’ compensation fraud against NYSIF. Insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. It is a crime against honest businesses and hard working men and women.”

State Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner said: “I applaud District Attorney Vance for taking strong action to crack down on Unemployment Insurance fraud and off-the books employment. These issues have far reaching consequences on society, including loss of tax revenue and diminished protections for workers. This guilty plea is a victory for both workers and law-abiding businesses.”

District Attorney Vance thanked Assistant District Attorney Gilda Mariani, Chief of the Money Laundering and Tax Crimes Unit, for prosecuting the case under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney Adam Kaufmann, Chief of the Investigation Division of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Investigator Peter Salerno of the District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau and Accountant Investigator Evelyn Marrero of the Money Laundering also assisted in the case.

District Attorney Vance also thanked New York City Department of Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel and his staff in the Office of Tax Enforcement, including Director Maureen Kokeas and Auditor Sheila Ford; New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Acting Commissioner Jamie Woodward and her staff in the Criminal Investigations Division, including Attorney-in-Charge Robert Eisman and auditors Ronald Chan, Nicholas Capkovic Chris-Ann Fenty, Mukaila Rabiu, and Elias Del Rosario; New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Colleen C. Gardner and her staff, including Executive Director John W. Dormin of the Office of Special Investigations; and New York State Insurance Fund Chief Deputy Executive Director Francine James and her staff, including Supervising Attorney Alison Kent-Friedman and Investigator Curtis Brantley, II.

Defendant Information:

THOMAS CASATELLI, D.O.B. 9/5/1970
Brooklyn, NY

CONVICTED:

Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, one count, class C felony
Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, one count, class E felony

A class C felony is punishable by a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a class E felony is punishable by a sentence of up to 4 years in prison.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

DISTRICT ATTORNEY VANCE ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF SIX SUBCONTRACTING COMPANIES AND THEIR OWNERS IN MULTIMILLION-DOLLAR FRAUD

Seth M. Harris Has Been Charged in $3.7 Million Bank Fraud Scheme

Disability Doctor Peter J. Ajemian Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To Eight Years In Prison For His Role In LIRR Fraud Scheme