YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A federal judge in Newark this morning sentenced former River Vale attorney Frank Cutruzzula to 30 months in prison for going 10 years without filing a tax return with the IRS and instead using the money for custom-made suits, vacations and credit-card payments.
That includes taxes on $1.1. million he collected from 2005 through 2007, the government said.
Cutruzzula, a 48-year-old Seton Hall Law School graduate who practiced in Jersey City, pleaded guilty to the charges in September, admitting that he also hadn’t filed a corporate income tax return since 2002 for a company that purportedly imported water from Italy.
As part of his guilty plea, Cutruzzula agreed to a voluntary lifetime disbarment from the New Jersey State Bar.
In addition to the prison term, Cutruzzula must serve three years of supervised release, pay $6,000 in fines and cooperate fully with the IRS — including filing all delinquent tax returns and paying $238,235 in outstanding taxes.
“It is fitting that, as part of his punishment, Cutruzzula will forfeit the privilege of practicing law,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Cutruzzula kept the money in four separate bank accounts — three in his name and one in the name of the company, FSC Imports Inc., government records show.
He deposited $846,196 from his law practice in 2005 and 2006, then wrote checks to himself for nearly $470,000 that he used on “custom-made men’s suits, a men’s Tourneau watch, payments to various luxury resorts, a Disney Vacation Club, and his retirement account, mortgage payments for his personal residence, cash payments to himself and payments to various personal credit card accounts that he used,” Fishman said.
Of that, $187,453 should’ve gone to Uncle Sam, he said.
Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation unit for making the case, presented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah J. Gannett of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Health Care and Government Fraud Unit.