NEW YORK – A disbarred attorney who formerly had a practice in the Town of Wallkill was indicted by a federal grand jury on six-count including mail fraud, structuring cash transactions, obstructing the IRS, tax evasion, obstruction of justice and perjury.
Joseph Scali, 67, of West Hartford, Connecticut, was arrested Friday morning and was to be arraigned later in the day.
According to the indictment, from February 2011 through August 28, 2012, Scali, who represented the seller of two tracts of property in Pennsylvania, schemed to defraud the prospective purchaser of that real estate of the $850,000 the latter had given to him to hold in escrow by misappropriating those funds from his attorney trust/escrow account. The indictment also charges Scali with structuring approximately $32,000 of cash deposits to that account.
The indictment further charges Scali corruptly endeavored to obstruct the IRS by providing materially false, incomplete, and misleading information to a revenue officer of the IRS, namely, false, misleading, information as to the years for which he had filed tax returns in the past, the reasons why he had not filed tax returns for certain years, and the amount of income received by him during tax year 2012. He is also charged with commingling client funds and personal funds in his attorney trust account; paying for personal items directly out of his attorney trust account; structuring cash deposits to his attorney trust account; failing to file US individual income tax returns; failing to file US corporate income tax returns; and failing to maintain required records by law to file a return for each year.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in federal prison.