Alleged crime boss Timothy L. Barreira pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to tax evasion charges. Barreira, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government, tax evasion and failure to file taxes when he appeared before U.S. District Judge Joseph L. Tauro. The judge scheduled sentencing for June 6. Barreira faces up to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine or twice the tax loss, whichever is greater on conspiracy and tax evasion charges. When Barreira was charged in April of last year, federal prosecutors, in court documents, alleged he is a violent leader of a criminal organization affiliated with members of the Sidewinders motorcycle gangs in New Bedford and Fall River and Hells Angels in Providence. The allegations were denied by Barreira's defense attorney Barry P. Wilson, who called it “a cheap shot” for federal prosecutors to include the information in his client's file and said they are based on hearsay. According to prosecutors, Barreira's organization allegedly purchased numerous properties in Westport and the surrounding area to legitimize activities that include high-level cocaine trafficking, extortion and buying and selling stolen property such as construction equipment, motorcycles and motor vehicle parts. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said today in a press release that Barreira made $264,000, $287,000 and $485,000, respectively, in taxable income for years 2003 to 2005, but didn't file or pay taxes in those years. Federal officials said in order to evade the assessment and payment of taxes on his income, Barreira and his longtime girlfriend, identified in court documents as Co-conspirator A, used five different methods to conceal his income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service. These included using cash extensively, cashing and negotiating third-party checks, including rent checks, using Co-conspirator A's name, bank accounts or an entity, Norwest Holdings Inc. Federal officials said Co-conspirator A was the nominee and authorized signatory to pay Barreira's personal debts, filing false tax returns for Norwest Holdings, Inc., indicating that entity owned property, when it was actually owned by Barreira. Also, federal officials allege, they failed to file tax returns accurately reporting Barreira's income on all income earned from rental payments from tenants, income from partnerships and capital gains from property sales in which he had an interest.
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