Owner Of N.J. Accounting Business Charged With Nearly $1 Million Fraud On Her Clients And The U.S. Government
CAMDEN, N.J. – An accountant from Toms River, N.J., was arrested today by special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation and the Social Security Administration, Office of the Inspector General (SSA OIG), on charges she allegedly stole $905,000 from client tax refunds and social security benefits, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Doreen Gentile, 59, was indicted by a grand jury, charged with 14 counts of mail fraud, nine counts of forging endorsements on treasury checks of the United States, two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of filing false income tax returns. Gentile is scheduled to make her initial appearance this afternoon before Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio in Camden federal court.
According to the indictment unsealed today:
Gentile, owned and operated Doreen A. Gentile & Associates, LLC (“DAG & Associates”), an accounting practice based in Toms River. Gentile maintained clients throughout central and southern New Jersey. In addition to preparing federal and state income tax returns, she also managed property for clients in Salem County.
As part of her scheme, Gentile would show her clients a tax return that indicated that they had no tax or refund due, owed a minimal amount of tax (generally under $40) or were due a refund that was far less then what they were entitled. Gentile then prepared a second set of tax returns, signed without her clients’ permission, that she submitted to the IRS for the full tax refund. Based on the second set of returns, the IRS or the New Jersey issued tax refund checks care of DAG & Associates and mailed them to the DAG & Associates post office box in Toms River. Gentile then deposited the tax refund checks into the DAG & Associates bank account without her clients’ permission.
Gentile also directed clients to make payments to the IRS to pay for various tax liabilities. After the payments were made, Gentile, without the victims’ knowledge, applied for refunds and had the checks mailed to her. Once she received the refund checks she forged the victims’ signatures and deposited the refunds into her account.
In addition, when one of her clients died in September 2005, Gentile did not inform the SSA. Instead, Gentile allowed the SSA to continue sending retirement benefits, which she accessed through the deceased victim’s bank account and used for her personal expenses at clothing and jewelry stores.
On her personal individual tax return, Gentile failed to report the income generated by her theft of her clients’ refund checks and the money she embezzled from the deceased victim’s estate.
The 14 counts of mail fraud alleged in the indictment each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The nine counts of forging endorsements on treasury checks of the United States and one count of theft of government funds each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The two counts of filing false income tax returns each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The two counts of aggravated identity theft each carry a maximum potential consecutive sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, and special agents of SSA OIG under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Ryan, with the investigation.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney=s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
The charge and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: Robert Weir Esq., Red Bank, N.J.