Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Boulas

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 19, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.
NICHOLAS A. BOULAS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          ALLISON D. BURROUGHS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         On November 8, 2017, a grand jury returned a twenty-two-count indictment against Defendant Nicholas A. Boulas (“Boulas”), charging him with: one count of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) (Count One); four counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false corporate tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2) (Counts Two through Five); four counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false individual tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2) (Counts Six through Nine); eight counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of false employment tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2) (Counts Ten through Seventeen); four counts of tax evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201 (Counts Eighteen through Twenty-One); and one count of structuring to evade currency transaction reports in violation of 31 U.S.C. §§ 5324(a)(3) and 5324(d) and 31 C.F.R. §§ 1010.100, 1010.311, and 1010.313 (Count Twenty-Two). [ECF No. 1 (the “Indictment”)]. Currently pending before the Court is Boulas' motion to dismiss Counts One through Seventeen and Count Twenty-Two of the Indictment. [ECF No. 56]. For the reasons stated below, the motion is DENIED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The Indictment alleges the following facts. Boulas owned and operated Nick's Painting Services, Inc. (“NPS”), which employed crews of painters to provide painting services to residential and commercial clients in the Boston, Massachusetts area. [ECF No. 1 ¶ 2.]. He also owned approximately seven residential rental properties in the Boston, Massachusetts area from which he collected rent from the tenants. [Id. ¶ 3]. In essence, the Indictment charges that Boulas engaged in a scheme to defraud the IRS and the United States Treasury by failing to report business and personal income derived from NPS and the rental properties, paying NPS employees in cash to avoid payroll taxes, and attempting to obstruct and impede an IRS criminal investigation into his conduct. [Id. ¶¶ 8-26].

         In support of this scheme, Boulas allegedly instructed a substantial portion of NPS customers to pay for services using checks payable to Boulas, individually. [Id. ¶ 11]. He then deposited and negotiated those checks using a series of personal bank accounts that he maintained at several banks, and he did not disclose the receipts on NPS's tax returns. [Id.]. In an effort to conceal these business receipts from the IRS, when Boulas received customer checks made payable in amounts exceeding $10, 000, he frequently deposited a portion of each check and requested payment of the remaining balance in amounts less than $10, 000 in order to avoid triggering the filing of currency transaction reports (“CTR”). [Id. ¶ 13].

         On or about January 13, 2015, IRS Criminal Investigation Division Special Agents interviewed Boulas at his home and asked him about certain cash and financial transactions involving his personal bank accounts. [Id. ¶ 20]. During the interview, he falsely told the Special Agents that he had reported all of NPS's income to the IRS. [Id. ¶ 21]. Following the interview, Boulas continued to conceal income generated by NPS, and filed false corporate and personal tax returns for the tax year 2014 that under-reported business receipts and personal income. [Id. ¶¶ 22-24]. The IRS served NPS with a summons for production of corporate records on June 3, 2015. [Id. ¶ 25]. In response, Boulas caused NPS to produce records that substantially understated gross receipts for the years requested. [Id. ¶ 26].

         On November 8, 2017, a grand jury returned the Indictment. [ECF No. 1]. On August 17, 2018, Boulas moved to dismiss eighteen of the twenty-two charges against him under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b). [ECF No. 56]. The Government filed its opposition to the motion on September 7, 2018, and Boulas filed a reply memorandum on September 17, 2018. [ECF Nos. 62, 67].

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 12(b)(3) allows a defendant to make a pretrial motion challenging a defective indictment that fails to state an offense. “An indictment is legally sufficient if it first, contains the elements of the offense charged and fairly informs a defendant of the charge against which he must defend, and, second, enables him to plead an acquittal or conviction in bar of future prosecutions for the same offense.” United States v. Laureano-Perez, 797 F.3d 45, 60 (1st Cir. 2015) (citations and quotation marks omitted); see also Fed. R. Crim. P. 7(c). Although an indictment must contain a “plain, concise and definite written statement of the essential facts constituting the offense charged, ” and “should be specific enough to notify the defendant of the nature of the accusation against him and to apprise the court of the facts alleged, ” United States v. Berk, 652 F.3d 132, 137-38 (1st Cir. 2011) (citations and quotation marks omitted), the government “need not put forth specific evidence to survive a motion to dismiss.” United States v. Ngige, 780 F.3d 497, 502 (1st Cir. 2015) (citing United States v. Stewart, 744 F.3d 17, 21 (1st Cir. 2014)). “When a defendant seeks dismissal of an indictment, courts take the facts alleged in the indictment as true, mindful that ‘the question is not whether the government has presented enough evidence to support the charge, but solely whether the allegations in the indictment are sufficient to apprise the defendant of the charged offense.'” Ngige, 780 F.3d at 502 (quoting United States v. Savarese, 686 F.3d 1, 7 (1st Cir. 2012)).

         III. DISCUSSION

         A. Count One: Corruptly Endeavoring to Obstruct the IRS

         Count One of the indictment charges Boulas with “corruptly endeavor[ing] to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws” in violation of the “Omnibus Clause” of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) by the following means:

a. Cashing and depositing checks constituting NPS business receipts using multiple personal bank accounts maintained at multiple banks;
b. Causing the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent Forms 1120S for NPS that, among other false items, significantly under-reported the gross receipts for the business;
c. Causing the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent Forms 1040 for himself and his wife that, among other false items, substantially under-reported total income for each tax year;
d. Paying NPS employees in cash;
e. · Causing to be filed false and fraudulent Forms 941 that understated the number of NPS employees, the wages paid to employees, and the payroll taxes that were due;
f. After being questioned by an IRS agent, attempting to obstruct and impede the IRS's investigation by, ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.