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West Hartford Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Offense

Michael P. Weinstein pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of filing a false federal income tax return.

Submitted by U.S. Department of Justice

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Michael P. Weinstein, 70, of West Hartford, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before United States Magistrate Judge Holly B. Fitzsimmons in Bridgeport to one count of filing a false federal income tax return.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Weinstein lawfully engaged in gambling in Connecticut and elsewhere.  In 2009, Weinstein had approximate gambling winnings of $448,400 and gambling losses of $268,990, resulting in net winnings of approximately $179,410.  In April 2010, Weinstein signed and filed his 2009 U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, which under reported his income.  Consequently, he failed to pay an additional $50,235 in federal taxes that were owed for 2009.

In 2010, Weinstein had approximate gambling winnings of $475,800 and gambling losses of $475,800, resulting in net zero gambling winnings.  On his 2010 tax return, Weinstein failed to report his gambling winnings or losses, which affected the Alternative Minimum Tax on his return, and which resulted in his not paying $1,405 in federal taxes.

Weinstein is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall on December 26, 2012, at which time Weinstein faces a maximum term of imprisonment of three years and a fine of up to $250,000.

As part of the resolution of this case, Weinstein has paid restitution in the amount of $51,640 and has agreed to pay any penalties and interest for the 2009 and 2010 tax years. Weinstein also has agreed to forfeit $143,562.46, which the IRS seized on November 22, 2011, from two of Weinstein’s bank accounts pursuant to a federal court-authorized seizure warrant.

Weinstein is released on bond pending sentencing.

This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division with the assistance of the Stamford Police Department.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.

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