NEW ORLEANS — Former Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Craig Taffaro has been sentenced to five years of probation after he was convicted in January of six counts of tax evasion, five counts of filing a false tax return, and one count of failing to file a tax return.
Taffaro, 70, was found guilty of evading taxes by exaggerating business expenses for a venture that was unrelated to his work at the sheriff’s office. Taffaro retired in June amid the federal investigation.
Taffaro’s attorney, Mike Magner, released the following statement in response to the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Judge Martin Feldman:
“On behalf of Mr. Taffaro and his family, we are profoundly grateful to Judge Feldman for his fairness and compassion in sentencing Craig to probation. Although Craig made mistakes, he is fundamentally a decent, hard-working man who served his country in the U.S. Army and the people of Jefferson Parish with honor devotion during his 49 years in law enforcement.”
The jury found that Taffaro, the longtime right hand man of former Sheriff Newell Normand, willfully attempted to evade taxes due and owing by filing returns with false and exaggerated business expenses for tax years 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, and by causing the filing of a false estimate of his tax liability for tax year 2014.
The jury also found that Taffaro willfully failed to file a tax return when required by law for tax year 2014.
Taffaro retired in June 2017 amid the federal investigation.