Saybrook businessman indicted in tax evasion

Old Saybrook businessman David M. Adams has been indicted by a New Haven grand jury on charges of filing a false tax return and tax evasion.

The criminal charges, handed up May 3, follow a previous charge of making false statements on federal tax returns announced in April. The tax-evasion charge carries a maximum five-year jail term, while the false-return count could lead up to three years imprisonment.

Adams, a former resident of East Lyme who sold his nationwide floral distribution business Flowers USA for about $10 million more than a decade ago, is principal of Saybrook Realty Partners, which owns the Saybrook Junction development in Old Saybrook and office buildings in Centerbrook.

"Adams did knowingly and willfully attempt to evade and defeat the assessment of a substantial part of the income tax due and owing by him to the United States for the calendar year 2011," according to the May indictment.

The charges against Adams, 55, stem from what the indictment alleges were failures to report $4.7 million received after selling his interest in another online floral business in June 2011. Court documents also allege that Adams told his accountant he had paid $220,000 in estimated federal taxes during the year when he actually paid $100,000.

The indictment said Adams also had filed a tax form with the IRS for 2011 that showed his taxable income was not quite $740,000. This, according to documents, neglected to include more than $4.7 million in cash that he received for the sale of the second online floral business, whose name was not included in the indictment.

According to an affidavit filed in connection with the case, Adams has had previous issues with financial regulators, including a 1986 conviction for credit card fraud and another conviction for willful failure to file income tax returns.

Adams was released on a $500,000 bond.

According to a previous complaint, Adams has made false statements on multiple tax returns and now owes about $4.7 million in back taxes, interest and penalties.

l.howard@theday.com

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