Forty Fort dentist acquitted of tax fraud charges

By Patrick Kernan - [email protected]

SCRANTON — A Forty Fort dentist has been found not guilty of tax fraud charges by a federal jury after he had been on trial for much of the past two weeks, court records show.

A trial against Charles Musto, a periodontist in Forty Fort, began on Monday of last week.

Federal tax fraud charges were first filed against Musto in 2016, with federal prosecutors claiming he underreported income associated with his practice on his 2010 tax return.

According to the indictment filed at the time of his charging, Musto reported gross receipts of $1,504,970 and business income of$587,330, but prosecutors say, “he knew he received gross receipts and business income in excess of the amounts stated on the return.”

But after a nearly two-week trial, Musto was found not guilty on all counts he was facing by a federal jury Thursday.

An order signed by U.S. District Judge Robert D. Mariani, who presided over the trial, indicated that any bond Musto was under is vacated.

A statement from Musto’s attorney, Mark Cedrone of the Philadelphia-based firm Cedrone & Mancano, said the jury made the correct evaluation, characterizing the issues on the tax claim as a mistake, rather than a willful fraud.

“This case was hard fought, but should have never been brought in the first place,” Cedrone wrote. “To the extent that the (Department of Justice) prosecutes tax crimes consistent with its stated goal of fostering compliance, prosecuting a good man who made a mistake was a disservice to all. Fortunately justice prevailed.”

By Patrick Kernan

[email protected]

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan

Reach Patrick Kernan at 570-991-6386 or on Twitter @PatKernan