Contractor charged with tax fraud, allegedly diverting funds through check-cashing business for off-the-books payroll

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A federal grand jury in Central Islip has returned an indictment charging a New York businessman with filing false business and individual tax returns with the IRS.

According to the indictment, Pawel Bartoszek, of Lake Grove, owned and operated Mega State Inc., a construction company. From 2015 through 2017, Bartoszek and individuals acting at his direction allegedly cashed more than $6 million in checks from Mega State clients at a check-cashing business, instead of depositing those funds into Mega State’s business bank account.

Bartoszek then allegedly used some of this cash to fund an “off the books” cash payroll for Mega State. The indictment also charges that Bartoszek did not inform his return preparer about the cashed checks, thereby enabling Bartoszek to underreport Mega State’s gross receipts, sales and ordinary business income, as well as his 2015-2017 personal total income. As a result, Bartoszek allegedly filed false tax returns with the IRS for Mega State and himself for each of those years.

Bartoszek was arraigned on June 1 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven Tiscione of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the US Department of Justice said in a statement.

If convicted, Bartoszek faces a maximum of three years in prison for each of six counts of filing a false tax return. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

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