Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Former Hoboken tax collector Louis Picardo admits tax evasion

Official release:

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                                   United States Attorney - District of New Jersey


A Hoboken-based accountant today admitted failing to pay more than $914,000 in taxes on income generated from his accounting firm and various rental properties he owned, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Louis Picardo, 64, of Hoboken, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to one count of an information charging him with federal income tax evasion.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Picardo served as the tax collector in Hoboken between 1973 and 2008 and was a partner in Cannarozzi & Picardo LLC, a Hoboken-based accounting firm. Picardo also was a member of multiple entities (the “Picardo Entities”) that managed both commercial and residential properties in Hudson County.

Picardo failed to report $3,725,853 in taxable income that he collected from Cannarozzi & Picardo and the Picardo Entities on federal income tax returns he filed with the IRS for the tax years 2012 to 2015, resulting in a tax loss to the United States of $914,908.

The tax evasion charge is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and potential fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25, 2019.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Farrell of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division and Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.

Related: The breakdown on the tax years is available here.

City Council closed session on the Monarch Project as litigation reaches the NJ Supreme Court

The City of Hoboken received a lifeline with the Monarch Project as the uptown towers proposed by Ironstate Development is headed to the New Jersey Supreme Court.

The announcement the court will review the case comes amid expectations of a negotiated settlement where the two 11-story towers in the northeast corner of town would potentially see a solution elsewhere.

A rendition of the Monarch Towers as proposed by Ironstate Development, re: the Barry brothers in northeast Hoboken.
The years-long litigation will be decided in the NJ Supreme Court unless a settlement comes first.

Residents in the third and fourth ward have been hostile at the notion of denser development in their neighborhoods.

The New Jersey Supreme Court granted a petition by the City to review the litigation where Hoboken saw Appellate Court rejections surrounding a controversial Planning Board decision not to hold a vote on the matter during the Zimmer Administration.

Mayor Ravi Bhalla called the pending court review "excellent news for Hoboken and our waterfront" and a willingness "to explore any and all options to ensure the Monarch development does not get built.."

Some observers believe the site of the Hoboken Municipal Garage may come into the mix as a possible compromise solution but some city officials are wary of any surrender of the property which is far more valuable since a sale was considered back in 2010.

Ravi Bhalla and City attorneys will brief the City Council on the matter in a closed session tonight at City Hall.

Talking Ed Note: Inside the developer community, there's a belief that Irsonstate Development won't ever build on the pier site next to the Hudson Tea Building. They point to the tens of millions of sunk cost for a foundation calling it a fool's errand.

Will that be the basis in any proposed settlement? The Hoboken public is waiting for an answer. Now the last rung of litigation enters the mix.