News and Press Releases

Blackwood, new jersey man convicted for role in conspiracy to cash falsely-issued income tax refund checks

March 23, 2011


CAMDEN, N.J. – A Blackwood, N.J., man who fraudulently cashed income tax refund checks was convicted today for his role in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by filing tax returns with the IRS with false, fictitious and fraudulent claims, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

The jury returned a guilty verdict against Jose Adames, 31, following an eight-day trial before U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court. Adames was convicted of conspiring to defraud the IRS, the sole count charged in the Indictment.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Jose Adames and his wife, Angelita Adames, 35, of Bellmawr, N.J., negotiated 102 refund checks totaling $668,298.73 at a Camden check casher. The IRS was able to trace the refund checks to false 2006 tax returns, and discovered that the filers had used Social Security Numbers that did not belong to them and directed the refunds to be sent to addresses controlled by co-conspirators. The tax returns were prepared using false W-2 forms with New York addresses.

Jose and Angelita Adames received the refund checks from a co-conspirator located in Bronx, New York. Between February and November 2007, Jose Adames and Angelita Adames cashed the checks at Imperial Check Cashing (ICC) in Camden. Angelita Adames cashed about three to six refund checks, ranging from approximately $3,000 to $9,000, once or twice a week at ICC – where she paid three employees $100 per check.

The three employees circumvented the internal controls at ICC when processing the refund checks, concealing them by entering false names, addresses, or other information that did not correspond with the checks. Most of the checks had New York addresses, so the employees entered New Jersey addresses as ICC is not allowed to cash out-of-state checks.

During the investigation, law enforcement recorded Jose Adames talking about the scheme and how he paid off the cashiers not to take pictures when they were cashing the refund checks. Testimony at trial also indicated that Jose Adames became concerned when he read a New York Daily News article about a Bronx mailman being arrested for his involvement in an illegal tax refund scheme.

The count on which Jose Adames was convicted carries a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for August 12, 2011.

Angelita Adames pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge on March 11, 2011, shortly before the trial was to begin. Angelita Adames is currently scheduled to be sentenced on June 24, 2011.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, for the investigation leading to the convictions.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jason M. Richardson and Matthew T. Smith of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.


Defense counsel:

Jose Adames: Edward Borden, Esq., Cherry Hill, N.J.

Angelita Adames: Edward J. Crisonino, Esq., Westmont, N.J.

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