Former Ridley tax collector goes to jail for tax evasion

RIDLEY TOWNSHIP, PA — A former elected municipal tax official will spend a year in a federal penitentiary for committing tax evasion, authorities announced this week.

Rosezanna Czwalina, 70, of Morton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to one year in prison, one year of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $112,846 after pleading guilty to five counts of charge of filing false tax returns. as part of a scheme to avoid paying taxes, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond, sitting in Philadelphia, handed down the sentence on Wednesday.

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Czwalina, who served as Ridley Township’s elected tax collector and treasurer from 2009 until her resignation in 2021, was allowed to retain, in addition to her income, fees paid for tax certifications and the generation of tax invoices in double, but she failed to report those fees withheld as income on her federal tax returns from 2014 to 2018, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

She pleaded guilty to her crimes in June 2021 in federal court in Philadelphia.

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“As the township’s tax collector, Czwalina was well aware of the importance of tax revenue to the proper functioning of government,” Jacqueline Maguire, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia division, said in a statement. “And yet, for years, she knowingly bypassed the federal system and her taxpayers by failing to report her true earnings. Elected officials must be held to the highest ethical standards when their actions turn into criminality, the FBI and our partners will not hesitate to investigate and hold them duly accountable.”

U.S. attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said that as an elected tax collector, Czwalina “knew what his obligations were and deliberately chose to ignore them.”

“Each time someone cheats the tax system, the burden of providing vital services increases for taxpayers who pay their fair share,” Williams said in a statement.

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Esther L. Steinbach