01-06-2004 -- Adan-Abreu, Lourdes -- Guilty Plea -- News Release

Hudson County Businesswoman Admits Conspiring to Defraud the IRS

NEWARK - Lourdes Adan-Abreu, owner of multiple Hudson County-based companies, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie announced.

In a hearing before U.S. District Judge Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr., Adan-Abreu admitted that she signed and filed her 1996 personal income tax return knowing that the return contained false information. Specifically, she admitted that in the joint return she and her husband claimed a loss on the sale of certain property located in Old Tappan, and that the supposed loss was based, in part, on improvements allegedly made to the property. Adan-Abreu admitted before Judge Greenaway that the amount claimed for improvements was false.

The tax-related charges against Adan-Abreu are contained in a Superseding Indictment returned in May 2002. That indictment also contains other charges against Adan-Abreu, including conspiracy to commit mail fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. In accordance with her plea agreement, those other charges are to be dismissed at the time of sentencing if Adan-Abreu fully complies with all of the terms of her plea agreement. Judge Greenaway set sentencing for April 14 at 10:30 a.m.

Adan-Abreu, 41, is the wife of Rene Abreu, a well-known Hudson County businessman. Rene Abreu is also named in the Superseding Indictment, charged with conspiring to engage in money laundering, to defraud the IRS, to commit mail fraud, to commit bank fraud, and to extort money for the protection of illegal gambling, among other crimes. The case against Rene Abreu is scheduled to go to trial on Feb. 24. During her plea hearing today, Adan-Abreu admitted that her husband was present during meetings with the Abreus' accountants, during which it was decided to inflate the value of the improvements on the Abreus' 1996 joint tax return as a way to lower the amount of income taxes owed.

The conspiracy charge to which Adan-Abreu pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The plea agreement provides that she will be ordered to pay restitution and may be ordered to pay a fine and the costs of the prosecution as well.

Under U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, Judge Greenaway will determine Adan-Abreu's actual sentence based on a formula that takes into account the severity and characteristics of the offense and her criminal history, if any. Parole has been abolished in the federal system. Under the Sentencing Guidelines, defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all that time.

Christie credited Special Agents of the FBI, under the direction of Louie F. Allen, Special Agent in Charge, and special agents of the Internal Revenue Service, under the direction of Patricia J. Haynes, Special Agent in Charge, for their handling of the case.

The Government is represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Matthew Boxer, Thomas Eicher and Deborah Goldklang of the Special Prosecutions Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office.


Defense attorney: R. Scott Thompson, Esq., Roseland