WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Ralph S. Guastaferro, Jr. and his wife, Karen Guastaferro, bothof Williamsville, New York, pled guilty Wednesday, to felonyoffenses before United States Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J.McCarthy, United States Attorney Kathleen M. Mehltretterannounced.
Ralph Guastaferro pled guilty to money laundering, which carriesa maximum penalty of twenty years and a $500,000 fine. KarenGuastaferro pled guilty to failing to collect and pay over taxes,which carries a maximum penalty of five years and a $250,000fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney MaryEllen Kresse said that fromNovember, 2004 until January, 2006, Ralph Guastaferro operatedEclipse Processing, Inc., a business which he used to launder theproceeds of telemarketing fraud.
In the money laundering scheme, victims' money was depositedinto bank accounts controlled by two out-of-state companies -Payment Resources International ("PRI") of Newport Beach,California, and Integrated Check Technologies ("ICT"), of Columbus,Ohio. The money was then transferred to Mr. Guastaferro's EclipseProcessing accounts, and then transferred by Mr. Guastaferro backto telemarketers in Canada, in an attempt to conceal the source ofthe funds. Mr. Guastaferro admitted that the total amount of thefunds involved was approximately $1.2 million.
AUSA Kresse said Karen Guastaferro's guilty plea related to herownership and operation of Eclipse Glass Tinting, Inc., a glasstinting and automotive accessory business located in Clarence, NewYork From 2004 through 2008, Ms. Guastaferro employed between fiveand seven people at the business, including herself and herhusband.
Although Ms. Guastaferro had a duty to collect and truthfullyaccount for and pay over federal employment taxes for each of heremployees, she lied to the IRS about how many employees she had andabout how much she paid them, thus intentionally failing to accountfor and pay over the required federal employment taxes for thoseemployees. The total tax loss is over $56,000.
Sentencing will be before United States District Judge WilliamM. Skretny.
The guilty pleas were the result of an investigation by UnitedStates Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department ofHomeland Security, under the direction of Lev Kubiak, Special AgentIn Charge; the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction ofSpecial Agent In Charge Patricia J. Haynes; and the Federal Bureauof Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent In ChargeJames H. Robertson.
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