BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Kenneth Cassidy, 52, of Brooklyn, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and willful failure to file an income tax return, was sentenced to serve 60 months in prison by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $2,649,169.17.
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Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron J. Mango, who handled the case, stated that between June 12, 2012, and December 20, 2016, the defendant opened approximately 173 fraudulent Lowe’s Accounts Receivable (LAR) accounts throughout the United States using counterfeit checks. Once an account was opened, Cassidy made fraudulent purchases of goods at Lowe’s until the funds were depleted or Lowe’s closed the account. Of the 173 accounts, four were opened at stores in the Western District of New York and purchases were made at stores throughout the Buffalo and Rochester areas. In total, the defendant and others used the fraudulent accounts to make approximately $2,652,391.17 in purchases from Lowe’s.
Additionally, for the tax years 2012 to 2015, Cassidy received gross income in excess of $10,000 from criminal activity, but willfully failed to file federal income tax returns for those years. “The substantial fraud perpetrated by defendant was tantamount to him stealing over
$2.5 million,” stated U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “Today’s sentence should serve as a reminder to any thief that if you steal lots of money then you should expect to spend lots of time in jail.”
“IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to aggressively pursuing those taxpayers who willfully fail to file their tax returns and report income,” said IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge James D. Robnett, “and no exception is granted for income derived from illegal activity.” Today’s sentencing is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of James Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, New York Field Office; the New York State Police, Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of Major Gregory S. Thomas; the U.S. Marshals Service, under the direction of Marshal Charles Salina; and Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Kevin Kelly.