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Bergen landscaper gets probation, community service for ducking taxes

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST : A Cliffside Park landscaping company owner who lives in Washington Township was spared a prison sentence Tuesday and instead will have to complete 240 hours of community service f or stiffing Uncle Sam out of nearly $200,000 over a three-year span.

As part of a deal with the government, federal prosecutors in Newark dropped two of the counts against Gregory Frangipane, allowing him to plead guilty to failing to report $542,034 in customer checks in 2005 that he cashed or diverted into personal accounts.

Frangipane, whose Frangipane Landscaping was on Columbia Avenue, should have paid the government $80,220 in taxes on that money, according to an IRS spokesperson.

The dropped charges involve failing to report $532,788 of income in 2006 and $313,507 in 2007. That adds up to a tax loss for the government of $72,237 and $46,131 respectively said the spokesman, Robert J. Glantz.

This compares with $69,000 that Frangipane reported his company made in a recent year, according to manta.com.

The maximum penalty that Frangipane could have received was five years in federal prison, plus fines and restitution. U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Hayden gave him three years probation.

“Self-employed individuals and those who run their own companies have a legal obligation to accurately report their business receipts and pay their fair share of tax,” said Victor W. Lessoff, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation unit in Newark.




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