Reputed mobster Nick Rizzuto pleads guilty to tax evasion
Published Thursday, February 11, 2010 6:52PM EST
Reputed mobster Nicolo (Nick) Rizzuto Sr. walked out of the Montreal courthouse with a smile Thursday after he pleaded guilty to tax evasion.
The 85-year-old has agreed to pay a $209,000 fine for tax evasion.
The Canada Revenue Agency says Rizzuto admitted to hiding more than a half-million dollars, and he agreed to pay back the entire amount plus the fine.
"The Canada Revenue Agency investigation revealed that, for the 1994 and 1995 tax years, Mr. Rizzuto voluntarily contravened the Income Tax Act by not reporting foreign interest income totalling $627,906," the agency said in a statement.
Revenue Canada had charged Rizzuto after $5.2 million was hidden in Swiss bank accounts. He was not charged for moving the money overseas, but rather for failing to pay taxes on the transaction.
The accounts were discovered when his wife was found to be making a transaction in Switzerland.
"The evidence that permitted the agency to establish that the bank accounts were opened by fronts for Mr. Rizzuto is an admission by his wife (that she) was there in Switzerland to retrieve some of the amounts for her husband," said prosecutor Yvan Poulin.
Ottawa has been looking for the money since the elder Rizzuto was arrested in a big anti-Mafia operation in 2006.
Evidence produced in court revealed that Rizzuto has shifted money to Switzerland.
Nick is the father of Vito Rizzuto, the reputed head of the Montreal mafia who is serving a life sentence in a U.S. jail for his part in a 1981 mob massacre.
Nick was recently seen in public in January at the funeral of his grandson -- also named Nick -- who was shot and killed in N.D.G. in December.
The elder Rizzuto pleaded guilty in September 2008 to possessing goods obtained through criminal gains and possession of proceeds of crime for the benefit of a criminal organization.
Surveillance video showed him divvying up cash earned through drug deals, gambling and extortion.
Although Rizutto is seen on camera, prosecutors could not directly implicate him in the alleged crimes and he was released from jail in 2008.