A former Twin Cities real estate developer was sentenced to more than six years in prison and handed a bill for more than $1.5 million after jurors found that he evaded income taxes while spending money on a mansion in Tennessee and other luxuries.
Bartolomea J. Montanari, 58, formerly of Bayport, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Minneapolis to 6½ years in prison after being convicted of tax evasion and fraud.
U.S. District Judge Ann D. Montgomery also ordered Montanari to pay restitution of $100,000 and more than $1.5 million for the taxes, interest and penalties owed. She noted the defendant used the money to finance an “incredibly flamboyant lifestyle.”
The prosecution said that from 2009 to 2012 Montanari evaded paying employment and excise taxes owed by him and the three businesses he controlled: St. Croix Development, Emlyn Coal Processing and Montie’s Resources.
In one instance, the government contended, Montanari transferred more than $1.1 million into a bank account in the name of Bella Luca Properties LLC, a shell company used to pay personal expenses.
In its presentencing court filing, prosecutors noted that Montanari “was spending millions on his mansion in Tennessee, on luxury cars for himself and his family, on jewelry and vacations [while] ‘pleading poor’ with the government and his creditors.”
The defense said a lengthy prison term would have an adverse impact on his wife and three children.