Couple, business owners facing jail for underreporting $1.5M to IRS

Published 12:11 am Friday, February 7, 2020

BEAUMONT — A Beaumont business owner and his wife are facing jail time for federal tax violations after authorities said they underreported income totaling more than $1.6 million.

Dick Brocato Jr., 68, and his wife, Judith L. Brocato, 65, both of Beaumont were convicted Wednesday by a jury following a three-day trial before U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

Under federal statutes, the Brocatos each face up to five years in federal prison at sentencing, which will be determined by the court based on advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

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A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after a U.S. Probation Office presentence investigation.

“The obligation of all of us to pay our taxes is important, and no one should forget that there are criminal penalties for failing to pay your taxes as required,” U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown said. “And it is again tax season, so this verdict is a timely reminder.”

The Brocatos were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud the United States for purposes of impeding the government functions of the IRS in the collection of income tax and six counts of making and submitting false tax returns on their personal and business for 2012-2014.

According to information presented in court, the Brocatos owned a lawn service company, Superior Lawn Service, which was operated for tax purposes as an S corporation.

The Brocatos were the sole shareholders of the company, with Judith Brocato as corporate president, maintaining the books and records of the corporation, and signing the corporate tax returns in that capacity.

The Brocatos conspired to defraud the United States for the purpose of impeding, impairing and obstructing the lawful government functions of the IRS in the ascertainment, computation, assessment and collection of federal income and other taxes for years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

As part of that conspiracy, they filed false corporate and personal income tax returns for years 2012, 2013 and 2014. To facilitate the scheme, the Brocatos underreported income received by checks from numerous customers of the company after having the checks cashed rather than depositing the checks into the company accounts.

They then purposefully failed to report the cash income amount on the various tax returns. According to the indictment, the underreported income amounted to $503,281 in 2012, $687,534 in 2013, and $513,498 in 2014.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Sep. 4, charging Dick and Judith Brocato with tax violations.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert L. Rawls and John B. Ross.