– Attorney General Stuart Rabner and
Criminal Justice Director Gregory A. Paw
announced that a Paterson man pleaded guilty
today to stealing $210,035 by fraudulently
obtaining and cashing hundreds of New Jersey
tax refund checks and homestead rebate checks.
to Director Paw, Mack Barden, 58, of Paterson,
pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree
theft by deception. That charge was contained
in a state grand jury indictment obtained
by the Division of Criminal Justice in July
2006. As part of the plea agreement, Barden
agreed to pay full restitution to the New
Jersey Division of Taxation. Second-degree
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison.
investigation by the Division of Taxation
revealed that Barden, a truck driver who
earned additional income by preparing tax
returns, submitted hundreds of fraudulent
New Jersey gross income tax returns and
homestead rebate applications between 1997
and 2005 using false names and social security
numbers. Barden submitted altered W-2 forms
with the tax returns, including forms from
his tax preparation clients.
pleading guilty, Barden admitted that he
obtained and cashed 418 state tax refund
checks totaling $197,837 and 120 state homestead
rebate checks totaling $12,198. The Division
of Taxation uncovered the scheme after noticing
numerous refund checks being mailed to the
same post office box addresses leased by
Barden. Barden cashed the checks against
his personal bank accounts or through independent
check cashing agencies.
altering genuine W-2 forms and attaching
them to new tax returns, this defendant
thought he could print money,” said
Attorney General Rabner. “But now
it’s his turn to pay.”
this year's tax season upon us, it is important
that people know that we are vigilant in
our enforcement of New Jersey's tax laws,"
said acting Division of Taxation Director
Maureen Adams. "This guilty plea shows
the effect of our joint efforts on behalf
of New Jersey taxpayers."
case was prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General
Denise Grugan. The investigation was conducted
by Auditor Lee Roach of the Division of
Taxation - Office of Criminal Investigation.