The founding partner of a Hartford-based law firm pleaded guilty Monday to one count of tax evasion for not paying more than $1.4 million in federal taxes over 17 years.
According to the government, Donald J. McCarthy Jr. filed federal personal income tax returns from 1997-99, 2001, 2003 and 2008-11 but failed to pay the outstanding tax balances due for those years. He also failed to pay interest and penalties that accrued on the outstanding amounts. McCarthy did not file personal income tax returns at all in 2012 and 2014, the government said.
An IRS investigation revealed McCarthy, 67, attempted to evade paying income taxes by depositing his payroll checks into his personal bank account and then withdrawing a substantial amount in cash and bank checks. McCarthy learned of the criminal investigation against him in June 2015, investigators said.
The office of the U.S. attorney for the District of Connecticut said McCarthy “acted willfully, namely, he knew that he owed monies to the IRS and he possessed the specific intent to evade the payment of such monies.”
Sentencing before U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill is set for Dec. 4. McCarthy, who faces up to five years in prison, was released on a $50,000 bond. McCarthy agreed to pay all outstanding taxes, interest and penalties, the government said.
McCarthy is the founding partner of McCarthy, Coombes & Costello in Hartford. According to his law firm’s website, McCarthy began his professional career as an attorney with Adinolfi, O’Brien & Hayes, where he focused on medical malpractice and general liability defense. In 1987, McCarthy was a founding partner in the firm that today is McCarthy, Coombes & Costello. McCarthy, an East Hartford resident, has more than 35 years of experience and is the firm’s senior personal injury trial attorney.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Schmeisser prosecuted the case.
McCarthy and his attorney, Ryan McGuigan, were not available for comment Tuesday. McGuigan is the principal in Ryan McGuigan in Hartford.