David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Joseph Colbert, 44, of Wilton, pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to one count of subscribing a false tax return.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Colbert, an attorney, filed false federal tax returns in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In each of the returns, Colbert falsely claimed that he had sustained thousands of dollars in losses on a rental property in New Jersey when, in fact, the New Jersey property was not a rental property but was exclusively for his personal use.
In addition, on his 2006 return, Colbert claimed a business loss of $25,265 relating to a consulting and legal software business, when, in fact, he had not sustained a loss and, on his 2007 return, he falsely claimed a casualty loss of $112,954 when, in fact, he had not sustained a loss but had incurred expenses relating to the renovation of his residence.
In total, Colbert underpaid his federal tax obligation by more than $133,000.
In pleading guilty, Colbert also admitted that he sought to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service by making false statements during a 2010 audit of his tax returns.
Colbert is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny on July 9, 2012, at which time Colbert faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years. Colbert has agreed to pay restitution to the U.S. Treasury in the amount of $190,822.87, which includes back taxes, plus penalties and interest.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher M. Mattei.
This release was sent from the Conn. Attorney General’s office