Grand Valley man indicted in Illinois

A Warren County man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts, representing three charges related to tax evasion, in the U.S. District Court in Illinois.

William Caputo of Grand Valley, who is also a Triumph Township Supervisor, was charged on April 11 with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, three counts of income tax evasion, and one count of obstruction of a criminal investigation.

Caputo is employed by Trophy Bowhunters of Illinois (TBI) and is responsible for keeping track of the books, records and receipts of the business; scheduling and arranging hunts, securing deposits, accounts receivable, and paying costs associated with the hunting operation.

In count one, the government’s complaint charges that Caputo, along with others, knowingly conspired to defraud the U.S. to prevent the IRS from collecting income taxes.

The indictment refers to other parties involved in TBI other than Caputo by letter. According to the indictment, TBI was incorporated in 2002 by “Individual A” and one other person, and in or about December 2007 one half of the corporation was sold to “Individual B,” who over the course of the next year made it clear that he did not want to be listed as an owner or shareholder of TBI. According to the indictment, Caputo and Individual A agreed to omit any mention of Individual B’s ownership in TBI’s records, including on income tax returns. He provided Individual B records showing TBI’s income and expenses, and made payments of some of the profits to A and B, and to others at B’s direction.

The first count further charges that for 2008, 2009, and 2010 Caputo gave tax records to a tax return preparer who relied on him to provide accurate and relevant information regarding income and expenses for TBI. Only Caputo and his wife dealt with the tax preparer.

Sometime in 2010 the IRS began an inquiry into TBI, and Caputo, A, and B agreed to withhold information to the agents about ownership and the full amount of taxable income.

The grand jury report alleges that Caputo committed one or more overt acts, including diverting cash payments to himself or others without reporting them to the tax preparer, falsely representing that all TBI income was deposited in the TBI account, making payments to A and B but withholding that there was a second owner, withholding and destroying records when the IRS began asking about TBI, and making misrepresentations to IRS agents regarding his activities related to TBI and the corporations ownership.

In the first of the three counts of tax evasion, Caputo, as secretary and business manager of TBI in April 2009 caused a fraudulent tax return to be filed, claiming a business loss of $13,535 for 2008, when the actual income was $70,366, or $83,901 more than the amount reported. The tax due is $24,766.

The second count of evasion charges that he caused a fraudulent return to be filed for 2009 claiming a business loss of $14,097, instead of an income of $35,242 which is $49,339 in excess of the amount reported. The total amount of tax due is $8,620.

For the third count, TBI’s return claimed a business loss of $1,006, when it should have showed an income of $75,708, which is $76,714 in excess of the amount reported for 2010. The tax due for that year is $15,560, for a total of $48,946 in taxes due over the three-year period.

In the final count, obstruction of a criminal investigation, the grand jury alleges that from 2011 through April 1, 2013 Caputo tried to obstruct or impede a grand jury investigation and investigators’ attempts to determine taxes due by providing false information, submitting false documents and withholding relevant documents.

Caputo’s initial appearance/arraignment is scheduled for May 23 in the Federal District Court for the Middle District of Illinois in Springfield.

Calls to Caputo’s attorney in Illinois were not returned, and when reached by phone at TBI, Caputo said he had no comment.