New jersey man charged with submitting false claims to the iRS to obtain more than $200,000 in tax refunds
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2011
NEWARK, N.J. – A Norwood, N.J., man made his first appearance in federal court today after being indicted for his involvement in a scheme to file phony federal tax returns in order to obtain more than $200,000 in unearned tax refunds, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Stephen Pirrone, 50, is charged in a six-count Indictment, returned by a federal grand jury on January 24, 2011, with making and presenting false, fictitious and fraudulent claims to the IRS in connection with his tax returns for tax years 2003 through 2008. Pirrone appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Shipp this afternoon in Newark. He was ordered held without bail, as he is currently in the custody of the state of New Jersey serving a state prison sentence for an unrelated offense.
According to the Indictment filed in Newark federal court:
Pirrone created false W-2 forms for himself and a family member that contained fabricated names of employers, names of employers who did not employ Pirrone or his family member, and fabricated amounts of tax withholdings.
Knowing that the false information contained in the forms would be used to create tax returns claiming refunds, Pirrone caused the false forms to be submitted to commercial tax return preparers. The tax preparers therefore prepared false federal income tax returns for 2003 through 2008, which were filed with the IRS claiming refunds to which Pirrone and his family member were not entitled. Pirrone caused six false returns to be filed with the IRS, and received more than $200,000 in tax refunds from the IRS as a result of the scheme.
If convicted, Pirrone faces a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count of the Indictment.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Victor W. Lessoff, with the investigation leading to the Indictment.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Defense counsel: David Holman, Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark