Ex Hallmark Institute of Photography president Rosa must repay millions, gets probation for fraud, tax evasion
SPRINGFIELD - George J. Rosa III
must repay the millions he
owes the Internal Revenue Service and People's United Bank
, but will not serve any time in prison for bank fraud and tax evasion.
Rosa pleaded guilty in March to financial crimes committed while president of the for-profit school.
According to the Department of Justice
spent $2.6 million in company funds for his
own purposes, including construction at his
personal residence, gambling, and approximately $55,000 on clothing, shoes and accessories.
disguised this personal spending as Hallmark business expenses, defrauding the People's United Bank
and federal Small Business Administration in connection with a series of corporate loans, and filing false income tax returns for himself and the company based on the altered books.
Ponsor said the sentence recognizes what he
termed an unusually powerful expression of contrition in informing on former colleague Gregory Olchowski and "people of a shadowy and more dangerous nature," Rosa's
unusually impressive post-apprehension rehabilitation - he
has worked for the Red Cross and Autism Speaks
- and his
potential to benefit the community.
Ponsor also said he
did not see much to be gained by warehousing Rosa
in prison at a cost of $30,000 a year to taxpayers when he
could be working to repay his
The sentence includes 400 hours of community service to be performed during the five years of probation, nine months of which will be served in a halfway house and nine months under house arrest.
In both situations Rosa
will be allowed to leave during the day to work.
owes the IRS
$1.4 million and People's United Bank
$2.5 million in restitution.
was also sentenced to serve one day in jail, but was given credit for his
one day detained in connection with the case.
is effectively ruined financially and will be working to stay just where he
is for the rest of his
Breslow said that without Rosa
there would not have been a case.
Summarizing the prosecution's filing in the Rosa
case, Ponsor said Rosa had also been helpful in investigations of several individuals involved in illegal gambling and loan sharking.
Defense attorney John Pucci said the government has given immunity to serial killers, pointing to the trial of James J. "Whitey" Bulger Jr., and said they could do more for Rosa.
Pucci said that Rosa
had had no chance to grow up as a normal, balanced person despite his two-parent, middle-class upbringing, describing his father as a philandering "Frank Sinatra impersonator" who taught him to gamble at 11.
Breslow said the requested two-year sentence balanced the need to reward Rosa
and encourage others to inform, and the need to give weight to serious white-collar crime.
, whose father founded the business, sold the photography school to Premier Education Group in 2009, at which time he
was facing foreclosure by People's United Bank
Premier kept Rosa
on as president and executive director until 2012, when he
and the company officially parted ways.
Ex Hallmark Institute of Photography president Rosa must repay millions, gets probation for fraud, tax evasion (1998 reads)