Manchester drywall business owner indicted on federal tax fraud charges

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WASHINGTON, DC – A federal grand jury sitting in Concord, NH, returned an indictment charging Walter Rodriguez of Manchester, NH, with three counts of filing false tax returns.  Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Scott W. Murray for the District of New Hampshire made the announcement Friday.

According to the indictment, from at least 2011 through 2013, Rodriguez owned and operated a drywall business in Manchester, under the name Walter Rodriguez Drywall and Finish. Rodriguez’s drywall business allegedly performed work for large construction companies located in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and other states. The indictment charges that the construction companies typically issued Forms 1099 to Rodriguez’s business for payments made to Rodriguez, or to his drywall business, during each of the relevant years. In addition to these payments reported to the Internal Revenue Service, the construction companies allegedly paid Rodriguez by checks issued in the names of fictitious or fraudulent identities. Rodriguez is alleged to have cashed or caused to have cashed these checks at commercial check cashers in the New Hampshire and Massachusetts area. The indictment charges that Rodriguez filed false tax returns that underreported the total gross receipts of his business.

If convicted, Rodriguez faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison for each false tax return count. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Tax Division Trial Attorney Brittney Campbell and Assistant United States Attorney Robert Kinsella are prosecuting the case.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts may be found on the division’s website.