Manchester contractor pleads guilty to alleged tax scheme

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US District Court/File Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – The owner of a Manchester drywall contracting company pleaded guilty Tuesday to aiding and abetting other construction companies skip out paying close to half a million in taxes.

Walter Rodriguez, owner of Walter Rodriguez Drywall and Finish, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding and abetting willful failure to pay over taxes as part of a plea agreement that spares him other felony charges.

The plea agreement entered into Jan. 12 in the United States District Court in Concord stipulates that Rodriquez took in more than $1.7 million in unreported revenue in three years, from 2011, 2012, and 2013. That would have netted a total tax bill on $416,163, according to the court records.

Rodriguez was indicted last year on three felony counts of filing false tax returns as part of a scheme, according to court records. He continues to be free while awaiting his April 14 sentencing.

Rodriguez and his drywall business allegedly performed work for large construction companies in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and other states going back to 2011. The construction companies he worked for typically issued Forms 1099 to Rodriguez’s business for payments made to Rodriguez, or to his drywall business, during each of the relevant years. These 1099 payments were reported on his taxes.

However, according to the indictments, the construction companies paid Rodriguez by checks issued in the names of fictitious or fraudulent identities. Rodriguez cashed, or caused to have cashed, checks at commercial check cashers in the New Hampshire and Massachusetts area, according to court records. That money did not make it onto his tax returns, according to the indictment.