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Assistant To Health Care Company Head Accused In $250M Tax Evasion Scheme

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- A top assistant to the head of a string of local health care companies is accused of being involved in a tax evasion scheme that could top $250 million, and allegedly paid for her boss' extravagant lifestyle.

Ann E. Harris is the personal assistant to local businessman Joseph Nocito Sr. who owns a string of health care-related companies that operate in numerous states including Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

KDKA investigator Marty Griffin obtained federal court documents that accuse Harris of using Nocito Enterprises companies to "fraudulently pay for and unlawfully deduct as business expenses, millions of dollars in personal expenses of co-conspirator 1."

While Nocito is not charged, sources confirm that the so-called "co-conspirator 1" named in the court documents is Nocito.

Nocito owns a multi-million dollar mansion in Bell Acres that, at 18,000 square feet, is described as the biggest house in Allegheny County.

Court documents claim construction of the home, a $237,000 pool and a number of luxury cars were falsely reported on Nocito's taxes as "business expenses."

Court documents say personal services like landscaping, personal chefs and butlers were also falsely claimed as business expenses.

KDKA questioned Nocito's attorney Phil DiLucente.

Griffin: "Did he write off millions of dollars of business expenses as personal expenses? Mercedes? Bentleys? Mansions? Cooks at his home?" Marty asked.

DiLucente: "I know nothing about any of that. I cannot comment at this time."

Harris has been charged in what's called a "direct criminal complaint."

Federal authorities confirm to KDKA that this type of charge usually means the person is cooperating with investigators and that final charges or punishment would be determined by how much the person helps with the case.

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