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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 19, 2021

Brooklyn, New York, Man Charged in $9 Million Conspiracy to Defraud IRS

TRENTON, N.J. – A Brooklyn, New York, man was charged today for conspiring to defraud the IRS, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.

Aleksander Zaretser, 41, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged by indictment with conspiracy to defraud the IRS. He will be arraigned on a date to be determined.

According to documents filed in this case:

From 2011 to August 2018, Zaretser helped “Individual-1” conceal millions of dollars in insurance reimbursement checks that Individual-1 diverted from the Prime Aid Pharmacies, located in New Jersey and New York. For a fee, Zaretser either cashed the checks at Brooklyn check-cashing businesses using fraudulent check-cashing accounts or diverted them through Canadian bank accounts back into U.S. accounts that Individual-1 owned and controlled. Zaretser was recorded saying that Canada was “the best place” because it was more lenient “for white collar crime.” Attempting to minimize his criminal activity, Zaretser also stated, “We don’t steal from people we steal from fuckin’ government.”

After law enforcement attempted to question Zaretser about his criminal conduct, Zaretser asked Individual-1 to pay for his legal fees, stating that he would stay quiet and not cooperate with law enforcement. Later, Zaretser encouraged Individual-1 to lie to law enforcement about their scheme and stated that he would not provide information if questioned about hiding checks from the IRS.

The scheme resulted in total tax loss to the IRS of approximately $9.1 million.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 fine.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez in Newark and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua L. Haber of the Health Care Fraud Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark.

The charge and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
21-374
Updated August 19, 2021