Orange landscaper pleads guilty to tax offense

BY Natalie Missakian

The owner of an Orange landscaping business faces up to five in years in prison for willful failure to account for and pay more than $66,000 in employment taxes.

Thomas Capecelatro, 62, of Orange, owner of Chestnut Ridge Landscapers since 1984, pleaded guilty to the federal tax offense Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Officials said between 2010 and 2013, Capecelatro withheld more than $42,000 in payroll taxes from his workers but never turned the money over to the IRS.

In addition to not filing quarterly employment tax returns with the IRS, prosecutors said he also failed to pay more than $24,000 in federal employment taxes and more than $1,300 in federal unemployment taxes owed by the business.

Capecelatro paid restitution of $67,759.46 to the IRS in May 2017.

Besides a maximum of five years in prison, he faces a fine of up to $10,000. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 21, 2018 before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea.

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