A federal grand jury in Boston returned a superseding indictment on Saturday, charging a Massachusetts man with willfully failing to pay over employment taxes to the IRS, conspiring to defraud the IRS, and aiding in the preparation of a false tax return.
According to the superseding indictment, Mauricio Baiense, formerly of Quincy, owned and operated Contract Framing Builders, Inc. (CFB), a Medford construction business. Baiense allegedly was responsible for filing CFB’s quarterly employment tax returns and collecting and paying over to the IRS payroll taxes withheld from the wages of the company’s employees.
From approximately 2013 through 2017, Baiense allegedly took a series of steps to convert CFB’s corporate funds into cash. The indictment charges that he allegedly wrote checks drawn on CFB’s bank account to purported subcontractors, which were in fact nominee entities controlled by him. Baiense allegedly then cashed or directed others to cash approximately $11 million in such checks at a check cashing business during this period. Baiense, and at times another man, then allegedly used the cash to operate an “off-the-books” cash payroll for CFB’s employees. He allegedly did not report the cash wages to the IRS and did not pay employment taxes on wages paid to employees in cash. Baiense also allegedly assisted in the preparation of at least one fraudulent employment tax return that understated the actual wages paid to CFB’s employees.
In June, Baiense was indicted for making a false statement when questioned at a U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration hearing regarding a workplace accident.
If convicted, Baiense faces up to five years in prison for each of the seven counts of willful failure to collect or pay over employment taxes, five years in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States, and three years in prison for aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. He also faces up to five years in prison for the false statement charge. 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 Rachael S. Rollins for the District of Massachusetts made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.
Trial Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Tobin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.