Ridgewood Construction Boss Busted for Tax Fraud

By David Brand

Rafal Ziolkowski, the owner of Oliwa Construction, Inc. in Ridgewood, was charged with seven counts of tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the United States yesterday after he allegedly failed to pay roughly $650,000 in federal taxes.

“As alleged in the indictment, Ziolkowski defrauded the United States by not reporting cash wages paid to his company’s employees,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “Today’s indictment serves as notice that this Office is committed to prosecuting those who seek to profit at the expense of the United States and honest taxpayers.”

Ziolkowski, 41, was arraigned in Brooklyn yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak.

Internal Revenue Service investigator James D. Robnett said tax evasion is not a victimless crime and hurts all taxpayers.

“As alleged, evading Employment Taxes has an impact on all taxpayers not only in the present but the future as well,” Robnett said. “Both retired citizens and some dependent children depend on this assistance, which plays a critical role in the financial security of all Americans.”

According to the indictment, between January 2010 and December 2013, Ziolkowski failed to pay a total of about $650,000 in Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes by understating the wages he paid to his employees. To avoid the tax liability, Ziolkowski paid Oliwa’s workers millions of dollars in cash, which he obtained by cashing checks.

Ziolkowski told the IRS he had never visited a check-cashing place, however.

If convicted, Ziolkowski could faces a maximum of 45 years in prison.