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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Day Care Operator Sentenced For Wire Fraud And Obstructing The IRS

PHILADELPHIA - Deborah Cellucci, 45, of Mullica Hill, New Jersey, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for sending a false levy release that hampered the Internal Revenue Service's efforts to collect taxes owed by Cellucci's day care business, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger.


In 2013, Cellucci fell behind on her business taxes.  An IRS revenue agent worked out a payment plan with Cellucci. Also, as part of its collection efforts, the IRS sent a Notice of Levy to an agency that paid subsidies to Cellucci’s day care under the subsidized child care program.  That levy directed that the $28,103.20 subsidy slated for the day care be paid to the IRS.  In June 2013, Cellucci faxed a false levy release from her home in New Jersey to the agency, in Philadelphia, in charge of paying the day care subsidy funds.  As a result of the false levy release, a check for $28,103.20 that the agency had written to the U.S. Treasury was canceled, and a new check in the same amount was made out to the day care. Cellucci endorsed the check, and deposited the proceeds into her business account.


In addition to the prison term, United States District Judge Berle M. Schiller also ordered the defendant to pay $28,103.20 in restitution, and to serve a three-year period of supervised release.


The case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth Abrams.

Updated February 4, 2016