Westport tree service owner sentenced for tax fraud
Robert Porzio, owner of Bert’s Tree Service Inc. in Westport, was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release, for tax evasion. Porzio was also ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.
Porzio was accused of depositing numerous customers’ checks into personal bank accounts, transfering a significant portion of the funds into a personal investment account and hiding the receipts of these payments from his company’s bookkeeper. The payments were not reported on his individual federal tax returns as additional salary and were also excluded from the company’s tax returns as additional receipts.
Porzio maintained this chicanery from the 2012 through 2016 tax years, resulting in a failure to report more than $900,000 in additional income. The underreporting of Porzio’s income tax liability and the company’s payroll tax obligations resulted in a loss to the IRS of $331,388.
Porzio, who pleaded guilty last December, has paid his back taxes but he still owes interest and penalties.