Fairfield landscaper pleads guilty to evading taxes on $1.3M

By Kevin Zimmerman

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The owner of a Fairfield landscaping company on Thursday pleaded guilty in a federal court to evading taxes on approximately $1.3 million in business income over a three-year period.

Donald Biagi Jr., owner of Don Biagi Landscaping, faces a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000 after pleading guilty to one count of tax evasion in U.S. District Court in Hartford.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Biagi, who provided landscaping and snowplowing services to commercial and residential customers throughout Fairfield County, regularly cashed client checks at banks rather than depositing them into his business bank accounts. Between 2008 and 2010, the landscaper cashed approximately 574 client checks totaling approximately $848,750, according to prosecutors.

Acting as his own bookkeeper, Biagi did not disclose to his tax preparer the cashed checks and some checks deposited into his business account between 2008 and 2010.  As a result, a total of $1,321,305 in business gross receipts were not reported on his federal tax returns over three years, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.

Prosecutors said Biagi failed to report approximately 62 percent of his company’s gross receipts in 2008, approximately 47 percent in 2009 and approximately 60 percent in 2010.

A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled. Biagi also agreed to repay $445,579 to the U.S. Treasury in restitution and additional penalties and interest that have accrued on his unpaid taxes.

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