September 12, 2017

East Hartford lawyer owes $1.44M for tax evasion

An East Hartford lawyer faces a five-year prison term and a million-dollar repayment for avoiding federal taxes over a 17-year span, prosecutors say.

Donald J. McCarthy, 67, pleaded guilty Monday in Bridgeport federal court to one count of tax evasion for withholding payment on taxes due in 12 years of that span, the Connecticut U.S. Attorney's Office and the Internal Revenue Service said.

McCarthy, who remains licensed to practice law in Connecticut, according to the Statewide Grievance Committee online data, will be sentenced Dec. 4. In addition to jail time, he has agreed to repay $1.44 million in back taxes, penalties and interest, officials said.

McCarthy is free on $50,000 bond. A call to his Hartford law office Monday was not returned.

According to investigators, McCarthy filed personal tax returns in 1997 through 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2008 through 2011. Yet, he failed to pay the outstanding tax balances due and owing for those years, or failed to pay interest and penalties that had accrued on outstanding amounts.

In addition, for tax years 2012 through 2014, McCarthy filed no returns nor paid taxes due, investigators said. Later, he tried covering his tracks by depositing his payroll checks into his personal bank account and then, shortly thereafter, withdrawing a substantial portion of the monies in cash and bank checks.

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