NEW BEDFORD (WBSM) — A New Bedford fishermen pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to evading nearly $300,000 in federal income taxes.

Rodolfo Membreno, 49, of Fall River, admitted to one count of evading and defeating taxes.

From 2013-2021, Membreno earned more than $1.3 million working as a commercial fisherman. For seven of those years, Membreno failed to file federal income tax returns. He then filed a false tax return for 2020 before falling to file a return for 2021, prosecutors said.

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Membreno failed to pay any income taxes on his fishing income and took other measures to prevent the IRS from tracing his income or determining his tax liabilities, including routinely cashing his paychecks and using the cash to fund his lifestyle, prosecutors said.

Membreno's scheme resulted in tax losses of approximately $293,118 to the IRS, not including penalties and interest.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 15.

The tax evasion charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.

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