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Businessman James T. Espinola, 61, of Pelham, N.H., pleaded guilty to tax evasion and assisting in the filing of false tax returns.
The charges are related to Suburban Middlesex Insulation (SMI) owners Darrell Maclean and Charles Smith, who were charged separately. SMI used laborers supplied by temporary employment agencies to perform asbestos-abatement work in industrial and public buildings in the cities, such as New Bedford, Fall River and Brockton.
From 2001 to 2005, Maclean and Smith engaged in a scheme to evade income tax payments by having Espinola cash checks for them and by declaring those checks as business expenses. Each week, either Maclean or Smith would hand Espinola a second, larger check ranging in amount from $5,000 to $15,000. Espinola deposited the checks into his bank account, withdrew the funds in cash and then delivered the cash, minus a cut for himself, to Maclean and Smith at their office. For the years 2001 to 2005, Maclean and Smith failed to report their shares of the cash from Espinola on their tax returns as taxable income.
For the tax years 2001 to 2005, Maclean and Smith deprived the United States Treasury of approximately $981,880 and $538,571 in tax payments, respectively. For his part, Espinola concealed approximately $372,410 of additional tax revenue by falsely understating his income for the same years to his tax preparer, knowing that the tax preparer would rely on his statements in preparing his income tax returns.
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