The former police chief of the Irondequoit Police Department will serve time in a federal prison after pleading guilty to intentionally filing false tax returns.
Judge Elizabeth Wolford sentenced former Police Chief Alan Laird to 6-months in federal prison. The sentence was delivered months after Laird pleaded guilty to intentionally filing a false tax return. The 27-year vet faced a maximum of three years behind bars and $250,000 in restitution.
“You knew better than that. You should have stopped it. Instead you reaped the benefits,” said Judge Wolford.
“My actions are nothing short of disgusting. I failed my family — a life sentence I am living with,” Laird stated.
Laird's fall from grace revolves around his co-ownership of Swoop 1, Inc., a professional security company. The website for Swoop 1, Inc. confirms that the company provides a full-service professional security company and offers a number of security options such as uniformed security officers, off-duty police officers, patrol services with security vehicle(s), Loss Prevention Services, Security Consultations, Sporting Event Security, and School Security.
Reports state Laird and his business partner, Steven Rosenbaum, failed to report over $5.5 million in earnings from 2016 to 2021. The reports claim Laird and Rosenbaum cashed checks from their clients at a local business, paying fees totaling over $112k, the partners would regularly pay Swoop 1 employees in cash and then divide the rest of the money among themselves.
"During the years 2016 through 2021, Rosenbaum and his Swoop1 co-owner, identified as A.L., failed to report on Swoop1’s corporate income tax returns gross receipts totaling $5,598,354. Rather than deposit hundreds of checks received from clients into their business bank account, the defendant and A.L. cashed the checks at a local check-cashing business. From the money received from the checks cashed, Rosenbaum and A.L. paid fees to the check cashing business totaling $112,619 and paid hundreds of Swoop1’s employees some of or all their wages in cash. The remaining amount of the money received from the checks cashed, $2,550,787, was split by Rosenbaum and A.L. This resulted in Rosenbaum failing to report $1,390,315 in income and failing to pay $355,225 in taxes to the IRS. In addition, Rosenbaum and A.L. failed to pay payroll taxes on the $2,675,467 in cash that was paid to the employees of Swoop1, resulting in a loss to the IRS of $204,673", the DOJ reported.
“The payroll taxes is a separate tax when you pay your employees by check, or anyway, You’re supposed to withhold employment taxes and submit those to the Internal Revenue Service. A lot of these employees were paid, I think $2.6 million was paid to the employees in cash but from that $2.6 million, $240,000+ should have been paid to the IRS as employment taxes,” says Assistant U.S. District Attorney Richard Resnick.
Laird was appointed chief in May 2020 by the Irondequoit Town Supervisor and town board members. He served 27 years in law enforcement including 22 years at the Irondequoit Police Department. Laird retired in November of 2022.