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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 13, 2016

Chief Financial Officer Of Educational Services Company Admits Tax Crimes Resulting In $1.4 Million Tax Loss

TRENTON, N.J. - A Pottersville, New Jersey, man today admitted filing a false tax return and evading corporate taxes of American Tutor Inc., a company that offered supplemental educational services to New Jersey school districts, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

James Wegeler, 73, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court to one count of corporate tax evasion and one count of aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return as charged in the information filed today.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Wegeler was a certified public accountant who served as the vice president and chief financial officer of American Tutor. In 2013, Wegeler filed a return on behalf of American Tutor that contained materially false information in order to reduce American Tutor’s tax liability.  Wegeler intentionally inflated American Tutor’s business expenses by claiming that it paid wages, tips and other compensation to its employees above and beyond what it had actually paid during the tax year 2012.

In addition, in 2011, Wegeler intentionally prepared a fraudulent tax return for an individual taxpayer that did not include substantial income the taxpayer had earned in tax year 2010.

Wegeler admitted that his actions resulted in a total tax loss of $1,494,521 to the IRS.

The corporate tax evasion charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The charge of aiding and assisting in the filing of false tax returns carries a potential penalty of three years in prison. Both charges are punishable by a potential $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 5, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the IRS, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, and special agents of the U.S. Department of Education, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brian M. Hickey, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney José R. Almonte of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.

Defense counsel: Thomas Calcagni, Newark, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
16-169
Updated June 13, 2016