TRENTON - A Monmouth County masonry firm owner who hid more $400,000 from his federal income tax return risks up to five years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties, at his scheduled February sentencing.

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Americo Costa, 52, owner of Costa Stone Works, pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion, regarding his 2012 tax form, according to information from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) criminal investigation bureau in Newark. Agents said that failing to report several hundred thousand dollars in 2010 and 2011 will be factored into his sentence.

Costa admitted omitting $407,951.64 in personal income from the company when he filed his return. Investigators estimated that he would have been required to pay $111,995 in taxes on the amount.

Agents also alleged that Costa hid an additional combined $356,491.32 from his 2010 and 2011 taxforms, shorting thte government by another $105,882.

In addition to a prison sentence, the chare carries a maximum fine of either $250,000 or twice the gross gain, or twice the gross loss of victims.

Members of the IRS Newark Field Office, under Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, and of the U.S. Attorneyh's Office, under Acting New Jersey U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick, conducted the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elaine Lou represented the government in court. Costa's defense was organized by Federal Public Defender David Holman.

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