– Attorney General Anne Milgram and
Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni
announced that four men have been indicted
for allegedly conspiring to steal $272,000
by filing more than 100 fraudulent state
to Director Gramiccioni, the following men,
all Paterson residents, were charged yesterday
in a state grand jury indictment obtained
by the Division of Criminal Justice:
32, was charged with conspiracy,
money laundering and receiving stolen
property, all in the second degree.
23, was charged with conspiracy
and receiving stolen property, both in
the second degree.
Ramon Espinal, 24, was
charged with second-degree conspiracy
and third-degree receiving stolen property.
Hernandez, 20, was charged
with second-degree conspiracy and third-degree
receiving stolen property.
was arrested at home today by state detectives
assisted by the Paterson Police. Perez was
arrested today at his job in Ridgefield.
Espinal has agreed through his attorney
to surrender tomorrow. An arrest warrant
is pending for Hernandez. Caceres and Perez
are being held in the Mercer County Jail
with bail for each set at $500,000. The
indictment was sealed until today.
indictment resulted from a joint investigation
by the Division of Taxation - Office of
Criminal Investigation and the Division
of Criminal Justice - Major Crimes Bureau.
Between April 18 and Aug. 15, 2007, the
defendants allegedly conspired to file 117
fraudulent New Jersey Gross Income Tax returns,
which resulted in them receiving $272,044
in refund checks that they allegedly laundered
through a number of bank accounts.
was a major tax refund scam,”
said Attorney General Milgram. “Fortunately,
auditors in the Division of Taxation detected
that the refund checks were obtained by
fraud and, working with the Division of
Criminal Justice, traced them to the defendants.”
is an example of our efforts to be vigilant
when it comes to enforcing our tax laws,”
said Maureen Adams, Director of the Division
of Taxation. “We will continue
to do all that we can to ensure that taxpayers
file appropriately and that refunds are
delivered only to those who legitimately
are entitled to receive them.”
will vigorously investigate and prosecute
those who attempt to steal from the State
of New Jersey and its taxpayers through
fraud,” said Director Gramiccioni.
“As in this case, we will follow
the money and other evidence wherever it
investigation was led by Auditor Lee Roach
of the Division of Taxation - Office of
Criminal Investigation and Sgt. Robert Walker
of the Division of Criminal Justice - Major
Crimes Bureau. The case was presented to
the grand jury by Deputy Attorney General
Denise Grugan of the Major Crimes Bureau.
tax refund scheme was uncovered in August
2007, when auditors in the Division of Taxation
- Office of Criminal Investigation detected
an abnormal pattern involving the refund
checks. Looking at the computer-generated
tax returns related to the refunds, they
noted similarities. They also identified
irregularities in the accompanying W-2 forms,
which proved to be fraudulent. Working with
the Division of Criminal Justice - Major
Crimes Bureau, they traced the refund checks
to the defendants.
of the refund checks, which ranged from
$1,500 to $3,676, were allegedly cashed
by Caceres at a bank branch office in Passaic
where he worked or were deposited by him
into a series of accounts he opened there
using stolen or fraudulent identification
information. The defendants allegedly withdrew
money from those accounts – and an
account opened by Perez at another bank,
where refund checks were also deposited
– in the form of cash, ATM withdrawals,
debit charges and checks. Sizeable transfers
were also made among the various accounts.
his cousin Espinal, and Perez were involved
in operating a business called Global Movement
LLC on Market Street in Paterson, which
was a tax preparation service, travel agency
and money transmitter. Several of the bank
accounts were in the name of Global Movement.
crimes carry a maximum sentence of 10 years
in state prison and a $150,000 fine, while
third-degree crimes carry a maximum sentence
of 5 years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
The charges in the indictment are merely
accusations and the defendants are presumed
innocent until proven guilty.
indictment was handed up to Superior Court
Judge Linda R. Feinberg in Mercer County,
who assigned the case to be heard in Mercer