Mazi Melesa Pilip, a Republican who faces Democrat Tom Suozzi...

Mazi Melesa Pilip, a Republican who faces Democrat Tom Suozzi in the special election in the 3rd Congressional District. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Republican congressional candidate Mazi Melesa Pilip filed financial disclosures this week showing she and her husband owed as much as $250,000 in federal income taxes as of last April, but her campaign said Thursday the debt has been paid.

Pilip’s filing also shows that in 2023 she was paid $80,000 in salary as a county legislator and $50,000 from husband Adalbert Pilip’s New York Comprehensive Medical Care, where she has said she worked as operations director.

She also made between $100,001 and $1 million in dividends from the practice, part of an investment portfolio that includes as much as $150,000 in bitcoin, the report shows.

Pilip, a Nassau County legislator running in the Feb. 13 special election in New York’s 3rd Congressional District, on Wednesday filed her first required financial disclosure report with the House clerk’s office, covering 2022 and 2023.

Her opponent, Democrat Tom Suozzi, filed his candidate disclosure covering 2023 late Friday, according to his campaign. The report was not available online as of Saturday afternoon, but the campaign provided Newsday with a copy. It listed no liabilities. In annual disclosures he filed as a House member from 2017 to 2022, Suozzi also reported no liabilities, records show.

The income tax Pilip and her husband owed to the Internal Revenue Service was incurred last April and was valued at between $100,001 and $250,000, Pilip's disclosure shows. House financial disclosures only require assets and liabilities to be reported in broad ranges.

Brian Devine, a campaign spokesman, said in a statement Thursday that Mazi and Adalbert Pilip file their taxes jointly and “are on a quarterly schedule for estimated tax payments.”

He continued: “Their earnings were beyond anticipated amounts, requiring them to make additional payments, which they have done.”

Devine provided Newsday a screenshot of an IRS website that shows Adalbert Pilip’s account status as of Thursday. It indicated a zero balance under “total amount owed.” The campaign did not indicate when the debt was paid.

“Ms. Pilip's financial disclosure form was completed with an abundance of transparency,” Devine said.

Brett Kappel, a Washington, D.C., attorney who specializes in campaign finance and ethics law, said the House Committee on Ethics does not require filers to report taxes owed to government entities including the IRS, but that they do sometimes come up on candidate filings.

“While tax debts are not that unusual,” Kappel said, “it is rare to have one for such a large amount.”

Adalbert Pilip and New York Comprehensive Medical Care are fighting a lawsuit over unpaid rent at a Bay Shore facility they once operated. Lawyers for the plaintiff are attempting to depose Mazi Pilip later this month, citing her employment there, but Adalbert Pilip’s attorneys are seeking to delay her testimony until after the special election.

Attorneys for the physician have denied the allegations in court, and Nassau GOP spokesman Mike Deery has called the case “an ongoing lease dispute between a private business owned by Ms. Pilip’s husband and a landlord.”

Suozzi's previous financial disclosures have shown significant private sector income and commissions, a wide range of stock transactions and investments in numerous companies, including some owned by state and Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, who nominated Suozzi to run in the special election.

In 2021, the House Ethics Committee launched a probe into Suozzi’s alleged failure to properly report approximately 300 financial transactions. According to the federal STOCK Act, members of Congress must report stock trades within 45 days of the transaction. 

Suozzi said he reported those trades, but only in his year-end financial disclosure reports to the Clerk of the House. The Ethics Committee ultimately cleared Suozzi for the stock transactions.

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