A Valencia man convicted of filing a federal tax return after he failed to report income made by having his company pay for many of his personal expenses was sentenced Monday to 24 months in federal prison.
Walter Daniel Prezioso, 47, the former vice president and manager of the now-defunct GSP Precision, Inc., was sentenced Monday by United States District Judge John F. Walter, according to a news release issued by the United States Attorney’s Office.
A federal jury in November convicted Prezioso of one count of willfully subscribing to a false 2013 federal income tax return.
Linda Lowery, spokeswoman for the Criminal Division of the Internal Revenue Service, said news of the conviction should serve as a reminder for people preparing their taxes.
“You are responsible for what is written down,” Lowery told The Signal Monday. “Your income should be reported accurately.”
In the early 1990s, Prezioso began working at GSP Precision, a Burbank-based machine shop owned by his father and a third party.
In 1997, his father sold half of his shares to Prezioso, making his son a 25 percent owner. By 2001, Prezioso had full control of GSP’s operations and held sole authority over the corporate checking account.
By 2007, Prezioso was using his control over GSP’s checking account and corporate lines of credit to make payments for many of his personal expenses, including luxury automobile leases and the construction of a tennis court and swimming pool at his residence, according to the evidence presented at trial.
Between 2007-13, according to court documents, Prezioso used GSP funds to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal expenses, according to the news release.
He concealed the expenditures as legitimate business expenses on GSP’s books and records, thereby ensuring that his true income from GSP would not be reported on his Forms W-2 or as officer compensation on GSP’s corporate tax returns.
Prezioso failed to report any of the additional compensation on his individual income tax returns, resulting in a tax loss of more than $751,000, according to the government’s evidence.
The jury that convicted Prezioso of subscribing to a false 2013 individual income tax return acquitted the defendant of seven additional counts.
The investigation into Prezioso was conducted by IRS Criminal Investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Paul H. Rochmes, Valerie L. Makarewicz and James C. Hughes of the Tax Division.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt