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CT Business Owner Involved In Kickback Scheme Sentenced For Tax Evasion

Federal courthouse in Bridgeport
Federal courthouse in Bridgeport Photo Credit: Contributed

A former business owner in Connecticut will spend more than a year behind bars after pleading guilty to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks by utilizing his company’s presence overseas and overbilling his employer.

Serafino Canino of Torrington, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in Bridgeport federal court to one count of tax evasion for his role in a four-year scheme that saw him improperly receive more than $600,000 in misappropriated income while he was working at Innovative Concept Corporation (ICC) and had an ownership interest in the company.

While employed by ICC, which manufactures and distributes small power and hand-tools, Canino and the company contracted with factories in Asia through intermediaries that were based out of Taiwan. John Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, said that those intermediaries were responsible for, among other things, negotiating with the factories in Asia, ensuring the shipment of manufactured products to ICC, and invoicing ICC for the manufacturing of its products.

Beginning in 2008 and lasting through 2011, Canino used two of ICC’s Taiwan intermediaries to fraudulently bill the company. Canino instructed the intermediaries to charge ICC an inflated price and kick back the overage to Canino using overseas bank accounts and an overseas corporate entity.

Through the scheme, Canino, received more than $633,000 in income, which he failed to disclose to his accountants who prepared his federal taxes. In total, Canino failed to report the income on his 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax returns, cosing the IRS a total tax loss of $186,358.

Canino has also been ordered to cooperate with the IRS to pay more than $430,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties. He is scheduled to report to prison on June 5.

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