PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – The former chief executive of a Pennsylvania health services company has been indicted on tax fraud charges for claiming his 39,000-square-foot mansion near Pittsburgh and luxury cars as business expenses.
Federal authorities on Wednesday announced conspiracy and tax fraud charges against Joseph W. Nocito. He is the former president of Automatic Health Systems.
Ed Wirth, acting special agent in charge of IRS criminal investigations, said, “When dishonest individuals fraudulently write off their personal expenses and under-report their income, this cheats the honest taxpayers who pay their fair share for the government services and protections that we all enjoy.”
Prosecutors allege that Nocito claimed as corporate business expenses the millions of dollars it cost to build the mega-mansion he called “Villa Noci,” as well as payments for a personal butler and a Jaguar, Maserati and Rolls Royce.
He’s also accused of understating his personal income and concealing millions of dollars of his former company’s profits from the government.
Nocito’s attorney, Phillip DiLucente, issued the following statement regarding the charges:
“Today the Government announced charges in a tax dispute case they have been pursuing for nearly a decade regarding Mr. Joseph Nocito Sr. Since the investigation began in 2010, Mr. Nocito has been cooperative with the IRS and the U.S. Attorneys’ office. Mr. Nocito looks forward to resolving this matter in a court of law rather than in the media and he will have no further response to the Government’s allegations, until the appropriate time and place.”
KDKA Investigator Andy Sheehan first revealed that the government was investigating where Nocito got the money to build his multi-million dollar mansion in Bell Acres.
In 2015, the Nocito mansion was described as the largest home in Pennsylvania. The sprawling estate is 33,000 square feet with 34 rooms, 12 bedrooms, 22 fireplaces, as well as a Roman villa swimming pool, terraced gardens, tennis court and the full basketball court.
Nocito’s personal assistant, Ann Harris, pleaded guilty to participating in an alleged scheme to take millions of business dollars, use them for costs at the mansion, and somehow declare all of them business expenses.
The 21-page indictment goes even further, saying Nocito wrote off country club memberships, family mortgages and private school tuition for his grandchildren.
Nocito is also accused of creating several shell companies that performed little or no work and shuffling hidden profits between them to avoid paying millions in more in taxes.
Nocito’s attorney didn’t immediately provide a comment on the charges.
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