NAHANT — A Nahant couple was charged with two counts of tax evasion in federal court Thursday.
Gary P. DeCicco, 60, and Pamela M. Avedisian, 55, were charged in a superseding indictment with one count of conspiracy to commit tax fraud and one count of evasion of payment of taxes. The original indictment returned in January 2018 charged them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
DeCicco was also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of bank fraud, four counts of wire fraud and attempted wire fraud, and six counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Between April 2012 and February 2013, DeCicco repeatedly told the IRS he did not have the ability to pay his more than $340,000 liability, and that he had very little cash, no vehicles or real property, and no ownership interests in any asset with a positive value, according to the charging documents.
The indictment alleges that he had ownership interests in several businesses, vehicles, and real properties during that time period, titled to his name and the names of Avedisian, Lynnway Auto Sales Inc., and other entities to conceal the assets from the IRS.
After the IRS accepted DeCicco’s proposed monthly payment plan, which was based on the false information, DeCicco allegedly bought and sold numerous real properties, boats and high end cars, and concealed those assets and his income from the IRS, often with Avedisian’s assistance, according to a statement from Andrew E. Lelling, U.S. attorney for the district of Massachusetts.
According to court documents, Avedisian owned a property in Nahant subject to a mortgage in excess of $1 million. In October 2015, DeCicco and Avedisian allegedly conspired to defraud the mortgage holder by proposing the sale of the property for significantly less than the outstanding mortgage, in what is commonly referred to as a “short sale.”
Short sales are intended to be arms-length transactions in which the buyers and sellers are unrelated and act independently, allowing sellers to cede their ownership of the property in exchange for the short-selling bank’s agreement to release them from their unpaid mortgage debt, according to the statement. In order to get approval for the sale, DeCicco and Avedisian allegedly concealed their long-term romantic and business relationships from the loan servicing company and falsely represented that Avedisian could no longer make payments towards the mortgage on the property. Two months before the sale closed, Avedisian purportedly received $3.5 million from the sale of another asset to DeCicco, according to the statement.
The indictment also alleges that from November 2015 to September 2016, DeCicco and a co-conspirator falsified rent rolls and prepared fake leases, which they then provided to financial institutions in support of their applications for a $5.5 million loan secured by a commercial building in Peabody.
Between September 2016 and January 2017, DeCicco allegedly committed unlawful monetary transactions with the proceeds of the bank fraud scheme, and between February and December 2016, DeCicco engaged in a scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies using fake invoices and other documents to support his claims.
The charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States and tax evasion each provide for a sentence of up to five years in prison. The charges of wire fraud and conspiracy, as well as bank fraud and conspiracy, provide for a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. The charges of wire fraud and attempted wire fraud provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison. Engaging in unlawful monetary transactions provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Each charge also provides for a sentence of up to three years of supervised release and fines of $250,000.
Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolanta, special agent in charge of the FBI, Boston Field Division; and Kristian O’Connell, special agent in charge of the IRS’ Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Lelling’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting the case.