Conway businessman pleads guilty to bank fraud & tax evasion

George J. Rosa III was the owner and president of the Hallmark Institute of Photography

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Conway businessman pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield for using millions of company funds to pay for personal expenses.

According to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, George J. Rosa III pleaded guilty before to bank fraud and tax evasion. As the owner and president of the Hallmark Institute of Photography, Rosa spent approximately $2.6 million of company funds for his own purposes.

Ortiz said that Rosa used the money for construction at his personal residence, gambling, and approximately $55,000 on clothing, footwear, and accessories. Rosa reconfigured the expenses on the company’s books as proper business expenses.

Rosa defrauded the People’s United Bank in connection with a series of corporate loans by submitting the altered books to the bank. Ortiz said Rosa used the company’s altered books as a basis to file false income tax returns for himself and the company.

Rosa faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on the charge of bank fraud and 5 years of in prison on the charge of tax fraud, 5 years of supervised release, and a $1 million fine or twice the gross gain or loss of his crime.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 29, 2014.

NOTE: United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, and Daniel J. O’Rourke, Assistant Inspector General of the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General, Investigations Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Ortiz’s Springfield Branch Office.