A former top executive with the organization that tried to bring IndyCar racing to Boston was sentenced Tuesday to four years in prison in connection with multiple tax evasion and fraud schemes.
John F. Casey, 58, of Ipswich — called a “consummate fraudster” by the judge — was also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay nearly $2 million in restitution and forfeit an additional $1.5 million.
Casey was charged in connection with three distinct schemes, according to federal prosecutors in Boston.
Casey was the chief financial officer of Boston Grand Prix, which tried to bring the auto race to the city in 2016. He was paid more than $900,000 total by the organization in 2016 and 2017, yet failed to include the income on his personal tax returns, prosecutors said.
Casey — sometimes using the stolen identities of two women — also fraudulently obtained about $675,000 in COVID-19 relief funds between April 2020 and April 2021, prosecutors said.
He spent much of the money on personal expenses, including a 3-carat diamond ring, a six-month membership to an online dating site, private school tuition, car payments and stays at luxury hotels, prosecutors said.
In another scheme, he falsified documents including invoices and bank statements to obtain more than $743,000 in funds from equipment financing companies, purportedly to purchase equipment for an ice rink he owned in Peabody, prosecutors said.
He also obtained more than $145,000 in small business loans for the rink after he sold it in 2016.
Most of the funds were never repaid, prosecutors said.
He pleaded guilty in October to multiple counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering and filing false tax returns.
Prosecutors sought nearly eight years in prison for Casey, but his federal public defender asked for a two-year sentence, citing medical issues and his fear of contracting COVID-19 while behind bars.
Casey, appearing via video, apologized and said he’d one day like to make amends.
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told the media he was disapppointed that IndyCar was pointing fingers at the city of Boston. He added that he will work with Attorney General Maura Healey to help refund those who already purchased tickets.
Boston Grand Prix filed for bankruptcy in July 2016 after its plans to organize an IndyCar race collapsed earlier in the year.
Casey was also charged back in 2017 with assault and battery after he allegedly kicked a Boston Herald photographer in Salem District Court. He was in court that day for a hearing as part of a civil suit.