Slippery Nick Spano served as an Assemblymember from 1979 to 1986, and then for 20 years as a State Senator, representing beautiful Westchester County. After his term ended, he got a knock on his mahogany office door and was greeted by a federal agent. One thing led to another, and Slippery Nick found himself in front of a grand jury.
It seems that while he was a senator, Slippery Nick was playing games with his taxes – games along the lines of filing false tax returns while evading his own taxes. He was part of a bigger scheme with an insurance brokerage firm, and had a nice little arrangement where they funneled him a cool million dollars in consulting fees in exchange for a state contract.
The insurance firm sent monthly fees to a shell company he owned. According to court documents, Slippery Nick’s company – initially named ONAPS, Inc. (“Spano” spelled backwards, how creative?) and later renamed HVM Corp. – “had no employees or offices and was used almost exclusively to receive money paid” by the insurance company.
The initial monthly payment in was $1,500. As time went on, it continually increased to $8,333.33 per month ($100,000 per year) in 2002. That’s a tidy little sum of money. Where do we sign up?
In addition to his monthly “bonus,” Slippery Nick wrote $180,000 in checks from HVM to a real estate holding company he owned in Yonkers. To reduce his reported income, he falsely claimed that HVM had an office at and paid rent to the holding company’s property. During 2005 and 2006 he failed to report actual rent payments from the Yonkers property, and in 2004 he failed to report a $45,000 commission he received for a real estate transaction.
Slippery Nick pleaded guilty to obstructing the IRS by filing false tax returns and underpaying his taxes by $53,000. He was sentenced to one year and one day in jail and fined $30,000.
Do you think Slippery Nick is sneaky enough to tunnel out of prison? Let’s wait and see!