Elizabeth, new jersey man admits defrauding the iRS of more than $70,000 by preparing false tax returns
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 12, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – An Elizabeth, N.J., man admitted today to preparing numerous false individual income tax returns on behalf of his clients in Jersey City, N.J., resulting in a significant tax loss to the IRS, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Michael D. Merritt, 49, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh to an Information charging him with aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation to the IRS of a false and fraudulent 2007 Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made during Merritt’s guilty plea proceeding:
From January 2007 through April 2009, Merritt aided nine of his clients in the preparation and presentation to the IRS of false and fraudulent 2006, 2007, and 2008 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns. Specifically, Merritt included in the returns fabricated and inflated credits and decuctions – including child and dependent care expenses, tuition and fees, charitable contributions, and job expenses – in order for his clients to obtain larger refunds than they were entitled to receive. In all, Merritt defrauded the IRS of approximately $72,971.
The charge to which Merritt pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for August 1, 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 today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mendelsohn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Candace Hom, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark