IRS Referral Results in Tax Fraud Sentence
A fraud referral from an IRS revenue agent led to a criminal investigation and conviction for tax fraud. The co-owner of a husband-and-wife printing business received a sentence of two years’ probation, a $3,000 fine, and restitution of $120,275 in late August. Raymond Benacquista, 61, was convicted of a misdemeanor charge of one count of failure to file an income tax return by U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara in Buffalo.
Prosecutors accused him of knowingly failing to report income he received from a business, known as Quality Quick Printing, which he jointly operated with his spouse, who died last year. As a result of the failure to report income, the IRS conducted an audit of the Benacquistas and their business, and determined that for tax year 2001, he earned corrected taxable income of $113,422 from operating the printing business. In addition, it was determined that he failed to report $136,249 in corrected taxable income for tax year 2000, and $50,002 for tax year 2002. The total tax loss to the IRS for tax years 2000 to 2002 was $120,275, according to prosecutors.
The case resulted from a fraud referral from a revenue agent, noted IRS special agent and spokesman Joseph Foy.
“It is rarely disclosed at this depth the circumstances that gave rise to a criminal investigation from a civil fraud referral,” said Foy. “This case disclosed quite a bit. The implications of a revenue agent referring a case to Criminal Investigation have a positive effect on tax compliance, as the accounting community needs to be aware that IRS revenue agents, revenue officers, tax examiners, and Bank Secrecy Act examiners do in fact make fraud referrals.”