Nassau County Legislator Roger Corbin Arrested for Filing False Tax Returns and Making False Statements
Legislator Failed to Report Income from Developer
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 06, 2009|
Roger Corbin, a Nassau County Legislator representing the Second Legislative District, was arrested today pursuant to a federal complaint charging him with filing false federal tax returns and making false statements to special agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. The defendant’s initial appearance is scheduled later today before United States Magistrate Arlene R. Lindsay at the U.S. Courthouse, 100 Federal Plaza, Central Islip, New York.
The charges were announced by Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Joseph M. Demarest, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), New York Field Office, and Patricia J. Haynes, Special Agent-in- Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation, New York.
According to the complaint unsealed earlier today, the defendant received 81 checks totaling approximately $226,000, from a developer between February 22, 2005 and December 31, 2007. Each of the checks was made payable to “Cash” and deposited into one of Corbin’s personal bank accounts. In interviews with special agents of the FBI and IRS, the defendant acknowledged receiving the checks from a developer who had been awarded construction contracts as part of a federally-funded revitalization project in New Cassel. Analysis of the defendant’s banking records revealed that much of the approximately $226,000 derived from the checks was used to pay the defendant’s personal expenses. Review of the defendant’s federal tax returns for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007 revealed that the defendant did not report any of the money derived from the checks as income and did not pay income tax on that money.
On November 20, 2008, special agents of the FBI and IRS interviewed the defendant. In that interview, the defendant stated that he did not use any of the money derived from the checks for his own personal benefit and that he provided all of the money to an individual who was purportedly paying workers at the developer’s New Cassel construction sites. Subsequent investigation determined that the individual to whom the defendant claimed to have given all the money died on November 9, 2005. A review of bank records revealed that the defendant received and deposited 73 of the checks, totaling approximately $206,500, after the death of that individual.
As further detailed in the complaint, in an April 30, 2009 interview, the defendant admitted that he used significant portions of the $226,000 derived from the developer’s checks for his own personal benefit and that he did not report that income on his federal tax returns in 2005, 2006, or 2007. The defendant further admitted that he made false statements to the agents during the November 20, 2008 interview.
“The defendant violated the law by failing to file truthful federal tax returns—an obligation of all taxpayers, including elected public officials. He then compounded his crime by lying to federal agents to cover his tracks,” stated United States Attorney Campbell. “The defendant will now be held to account.” Mr. Campbell extended his appreciation to the FBI and IRS, the agencies responsible for leading the government’s investigation.
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Demarest stated, “The people rightly expect their elected representatives at all levels of government to behave honorably, or at a minimum, lawfully. This defendant put self-interest above public service. Public confidence in government depends on accountability for misconduct.”
IRS Special Agent-in-Charge Haynes stated, “It is ironic that as an elected official, Mr. Corbin is instrumental in choosing how taxpayers’ hard earned dollars should be spent, yet this complaint alleges that Mr. Corbin chose not to contribute his fair share of taxes.”
If convicted, Corbin faces up to five years in prison on the false statement charge and up to three years in prison for each of the false tax returns filed. He also faces a fine of up to $250,000 on each count of conviction.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John J. Durham, Carrie N. Capwell, Steven D’Alessandro, and Richard P. Donoghue.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.