Local business owner pleads guilty to lying on his tax returns

Posted at: 07/30/2013 7:28 PM
Updated at: 07/30/2013 11:22 PM

A Rochester man must pay the federal government more than $11 million. This comes after he pleaded guilty to tax-related charges in federal court.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul says John Gizzi pleaded guilty to two counts of income tax evasion Tuesday. Prosecutors say he owned and managed several operations including a corporation called Rochester Machinery Suppliers.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Gizzi misused those operations to conceal income and inflate expenses through several schemes. One of them, prosecutors say, involved claiming more than $1.3 billion in expenses he wasn't entitled to. Another, involved nearly $2 million in scrap metal sales, not reported on tax returns.

In cases like this, the IRS says all taxpayers lose.
Tim Shanahan, Special Agent, Internal Revenue Service, said, "I think it's important for everyone to understand. This is not a victimless crime. When over $11 million is not going to the federal treasury, everybody suffers. So I think today we see that justice was served."

Gizzi's corporation, Rochester Machinery Suppliers, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the preparation of a false tax return.

Gizzi faces a maximum of six years in prison and a $500,000 fine when he is sentenced in November.