A couple of East Orange NJ men recently pleaded guilty to federal charges for committing fraud.
The suspects are a 46-year-old man from East Orange and a 48-year-old man from East Orange. According to officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the two suspects filed the fake tax returns on behalf of individuals locked up in the Essex County Correctional Facility in Newark, New Jersey. The suspects allegedly used the personal information of the inmates to file the tax returns and claimed that income had been withheld from their paychecks. The suspects then pocketed the refund checks, with some of the proceeds going to the inmates.
The suspects had access to the Newark jail inmates because one of the suspects was an inmate at the facility for nearly a year.
The suspects reportedly defrauded the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) out of more than $670K by filing 112 false returns.
The suspects ultimately avoided a trial by reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. In exchange for the suspects admitting that they conspired to make and present false claims to the IRS, the US Attorney’s Office agreed to recommend reduced sentences of up to five years in prison.
The suspects had to appear in US District Court in Newark NJ so that a federal judge could sign off on the plea deal. They will return to court in March 2017 for a formal sentencing hearing.
For further information about this case, check out the NJ.com article, “Duo Admit Plot to Swindle IRS Out of $670K Using Fake Tax Returns from Inmates.”