Naugy man pleads guilty to tax charges

A Naugatuck man pleaded guilty March 31 to tax charges related to a scheme to defraud Webster Bank of $6.2 million.

Gary J. Stocking, 45, is the third defendant to plead guilty in federal court to charges connected to the case. He was convicted in Bridgeport of three counts of failing to file a return, supply information and pay federal income taxes. He will be sentenced June 23.

Stocking faces a maximum prison term of three years and will be ordered to pay nearly $644,000 in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.

Stocking in 2007 formed a company called Equity Realty for his wife, Susan Curtis of Naugatuck, who at the time worked for Webster Bank, according to court documents. Curtis, who worked in the bank’s division responsible for acquiring and leasing properties, submitted paperwork to the bank claiming it owed the sham company a commission for a real estate transaction, documents show.

Although Equity Realty never acted as a landlord or brokered any real estate transactions, Webster Bank and its vendors made close to two dozen payments to the company between 2007 and 2009, totaling almost $2 million, according to court documents.

Stocking consciously failed to file a tax return for the company or report the income to the IRS for the 2007, 2008 or 2009 tax years, causing the federal government to lose $643,885 in taxes, documents show.

From 2002 until 2008, Curtis and her ex-husband, Kevin Caffrey, deceived Webster Bank into making payments to a different sham company they had set up named New House, according to court documents.

Curtis pleaded guilty Jan. 20 to two counts of bank fraud and four counts of filing false tax returns.

Caffrey pleaded guilty in October to one count of bank fraud and one count of filing a false tax return. Neither has been sentenced.
The federal government is seeking a money judgment of more than $7 million from the three defendants.

In addition, the government wants to seize property the three allegedly bought with stolen money, including more than $1.1 million in East Hampton real estate, several cars, two Harley-Davidson motorcycles, two boats and boat trailers, about $300,000 in artwork, about $100,000 in jewelry, and a Steinway piano worth more than $77,000.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service are investigating the case.