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Press Release

Former Burlington Coat Factory Employee Admits Tax Evasion On Income Generated From Shell Recruitment Company

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

CAMDEN, N.J. -  A Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, woman today admitted evading taxes on income she generated by using her position as a Burlington Coat Factory vice president to approve payments to her shell recruitment company, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Barbara Ames, 53, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez in Camden federal court to an information charging her with one count of tax evasion.

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

In 2007, Barbara Ames was hired by Burlington Coat Factory as Vice President of Talent Acquisition. Ames was responsible for recruiting and hiring all executive management positions within Burlington Coat Factory, including store management, corporate management and field management. As part of her job duties, Ames was responsible for working with vendors and suppliers associated with her position. Burlington Coat Factory used outside companies, or “headhunters,” to identify and recruit qualified applicants for open positions. Ames had sole authority to approve payments to headhunters working on behalf of Burlington Coat Factory.

In 2008, Ames established L. Castillo LLC using her mother’s name and Social Security number. Ames admitted that between 2008 and 2012, she performed headhunting services under the name of L. Castillo on behalf of Burlington Coat Factory. Afterwards, Ames generated invoices from L. Castillo and submitted those invoices to Burlington Coat Factory for payment.

Ames admitted she used her authority at Burlington Coat Factory to approve the L. Castillo invoices.  From Aug. 4, 2008 through Nov. 2, 2012, Ames caused Burlington Coat Factory to issue approximately 46 checks, totaling $466,290, to pay L. Castillo invoices. Ames later used these funds for personal expenditures.

Ames admitted that, from 2009 through 2012, she failed to include her income from L. Castillo, which caused a tax loss of $143,877.

The charge to which Ames pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 1, 2016.

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

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason M. Richardson of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Camden.

Defense counsel: John O. Poindexter III Esq., Moorestown

Updated February 4, 2016

Press Release Number: 15-394