Stephen A. Favato, a former partner in BDO Seidman's Woodbridge, N.J., office, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for tax crimes. Favato, a resident of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., was found guilty in August 2010 by a federal jury of one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue laws and one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of a false income tax return.

Favato was found to have advised one client, Daniel Funsch, on how to include false items on the 2002, 2003 and 2004 joint income tax returns for Funsch and his then-wife. Favato was also proved to have prepared and signed joint income tax returns for the Funsches for those years which caused a $114,000 loss to the Internal Revenue Service for 2002 and for $70,000 in tax years 2003 and 2004.

Evidence was presented that Favato advised Funsch to reduce salary payments he received from his corporation and have them paid to his limited liability company, Great Escape Yachts, in the form of purported lease payments for Funsch's yacht. The company, however, had not leased the yacht. The result was Funsch deducted personal expenses as business expenses. Favato also advised his client on how to increase expenses to eliminate a portion of gain on three properties the taxpayer sold in 2002 and 2004 and he advised Funsch to inflate charitable contributions for his 2003 return. The jury acquitted Favato on one count of tax evasion.

Last modified on Sunday, 02 June 2013
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