News and Press Releases

Blackwood, n.J., man sentenced to 33 months
for role in income tax refund conspiracy

November 18, 2011


CAMDEN, N.J. – A Blackwood, N.J., man was sentenced to 33 months in prison today for defrauding the United States by filing tax returns with the IRS with false, fictitious and fraudulent information, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Jose Adames, 32, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Noel L. Hillman in Camden federal court. Adames had previously been convicted by a jury following an eight-day trial of conspiring to defraud the IRS.

His wife, Angelita Adames, 34, who previously pleaded guilty to the same indictment, is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 19, 2011.

According to documents filed in this case, statements made in court and the evidence at trial:

Jose and Angelita Adames negotiated 102 tax 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. The Adameses 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, N.Y. Between February and November 2007, Jose and Angelita Adames cashed the checks at Imperial Check Cashing (ICC) in Camden. Angelita Adames cashed 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, because 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.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Hillman sentenced Jose Adames to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $668,298.73.

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 today’s sentencing.

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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