The former head of operations at a securities brokerage firm in Syosset has pleaded guilty to tax evasion and filing a false tax return, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Dominick Pannitti, 38, entered the plea in the U.S. Eastern District Court in Central Islip on Thursday to one count of each charge. Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department's Tax Division said in a news release that Pannitti, formerly of North Bellmore, used his position at the firm to take advantage of an automated system designed to adjust customers' trading accounts for amounts less than $1,000.

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In 2005 and 2006, prosecutors said, Pannitti used the system to credit his own trading accounts, which were set up in the name of a corporation he owned, more than 850 times in increments of less than $1,000. Pannitti wasn't entitled to most of the credits, which came to more than $570,000, prosecutors said. He also failed to report the income on his 2005 and 2006 federal income tax returns.

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He faces a statutory maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine on the tax evasion count, and a maximum of 3 years in prison and up to another $250,000 fine on the count of filing a false return.