Former Irondequoit police chief and business partner get 6 months in prison for tax fraud
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Former Irondequoit Police Chief Alan Laird will go to federal prison for six months for falsifying tax returns for his private security company.
In September, Laird admitted to defrauding the federal government out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Attorneys say, from 2016 to 2021, Laird and his business partner Steven Rosenbaum cashed checks from clients at a check cashing business.
Attorneys say they didn’t report the amounts of their taxes and didn’t report them correctly into the business’ bank account. They knowingly signed false tax returns and failed to report receipts.
When Laird is released, he faces 6 months of home confinement, another 6 months of supervised release, and a $10,000 fine.
Here’s what former Irondequoit police chief Alan Laird and his co-defendant got for one count of tax fraud.
– Six months in prison.
– Six months home confinement.
– Another six months of supervised release.
– A $10,000 fine.
– Pay the IRS the taxes they owe.
For former chief Laird, the IRS is owed $632,722.
Moments before Laird walked out of federal court Wedneday afternoon, a judge ordered him to prison for tax fraud.
Judge Elizabeth Wolford told Laird he was a good police chief and acknowledged that the fraud was happening before he co-owned the security business.
“You knew better than that. You should have stopped it. Instead you reaped the benefits,” said Judge Wolford.
“My actions are nothing short of disgusting,” Laird told the court. “I failed my family — a life sentence I am living with.”
Laird was named chief of police in Irondequoit in 2020. By that time he was already co-owner of a security firm called Swoop 1. Laird and the co-owner, Steven Rosenbaum pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return.
Peter Pullano was the lawyer for Rosenbaum, another former Irondequoit police officer.
“Mr. Rosenbaum freely admitted in court he was taking checks that were for the business, and he was cashing them and paying business expenses with his cash,” Pullano said. “But in the process, of course, was not paying taxes.”
The federal guidelines said Laird and Rosenbaum could have gotten up to three years in prison.
Berkeley Brean, News10NBC: “Did the sentences they got have anything to do with the fact that they’re police officers?”
Pullano, defense attorney: “I think the court considered everything about their lives in coming up with the sentence.”
That included the serious illness with Rosenbaum, that neither he nor Laird have any criminal history, and similar cases got six months in prison.
“Never in a million years did I ever think I’d be sitting here” Rosenbaum said when addressing the court. “I am a convicted felon. Never in a million years did I think I’d have that after my name. I made poor decisions. I take full responsibility. I blame myself. I am ashamed to be sitting here.”
Judge Wolford acknowledged that prison time will be particularly difficult for Rosenbaum, considering his illnesses and, particularly, because he is a former police officer.
“When you cheat on taxes and lie to the government, it undermines the integrity of the tax system in this country,” said Judge Wolford. “As a police officer who was paid by taxpayer money, I would think you would appreciate the tax system is fundamental to the country. You can disagree with tax policy, but you don’t have the right not to comply with it.”
“There is no excuse for what I did, only acceptance and responsibility,” Laird said at the end of his statement in court.
Laird and Rosenbaum are free until the Federal Bureau of Prison picks their prison. That usually takes 30 days, but could be longer because of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
Both men should be out of prison by the middle of summer.