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Press Release

Essex County, New Jersey, Man Gets 51 Months In Prison For Prison Tax Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – An East Orange, New Jersey, man was sentenced today to 51 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to file false federal income tax returns on behalf of inmates at the Essex County Correctional Facility, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Reginald Eaford, 47, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls to an information charging him with conspiracy to make and present false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims to the IRS. Judge Walls imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

From 2013 through Aug. 5, 2014, Eaford, Winfred Moses, 49, also of East Orange, and others conspired to file bogus federal tax returns in order to fraudulently obtain tax refunds.

Eaford was an inmate at the Essex County Correctional Facility from approximately May 20, 2013 through Feb. 12, 2014. As part of the scheme, Eaford, Moses, and others obtained social security numbers, dates of birth, and other information from inmates at the jail. Eaford and Moses would then generate false W-2 forms indicating that the inmates had earned income during the relevant tax year and that federal income tax had been withheld from their paychecks.

Afterwards, Eaford and Moses filed false federal income tax returns on behalf of the inmates and had the refund checks sent to the Essex County Correctional Facility or to Moses’s East Orange residence. The proceeds of the fraud were split among Eaford, Moses, and the relevant inmates. Eaford and Moses admitted that they filed 112 phony tax returns that sought approximately $670,206 in fraudulent refunds.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Eaford to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $200,045.

Moses also previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced April 12, 2017 to 26 months in prison.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, postal inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, and the Internal Affairs Division of Essex County Jail, under the leadership of Warden Roy Hendricks, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel: Assistant Federal Public Defender Lisa Mack Esq., Newark, New Jersey

Updated June 20, 2017

Press Release Number: 17-187