John H. Durham, the United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced Tuesday that Thomas Capecelatro, 62, of Orange, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael P. Shea in Hartford to one count of willful failure to account for and pay over more than $66,000 in employment taxes.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Capecelatro has owned and operated an unincorporated landscaping business known as Chestnut Ridge Landscaping (“Chestnut Ridge”) since approximately 1984.

From approximately October 2010 through 2013, Capecelatro caused Chestnut Ridge to withhold $42,322.64 in payroll taxes from its employees but failed to truthfully account for and pay over that money to the Internal Revenue Service. During that same period, Capecelatro failed to pay $24,089.28 in federal employment taxes and $1,347.54 in federal unemployment taxes that Chestnut Ridge owed. Chestnut Ridge also failed to file quarterly employment tax returns with the IRS.

The total tax loss to the U.S. Treasury from October 2010 through 2013 was $67,759.46.

Judge Shea scheduled sentencing for Feb. 21, 2018, at which time Capecelatro faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $10,000. Capecelatro made restitution of $67,759.46 to the IRS in May 2017.