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Press Release

Former Contractor Of Newark Watershed Conservation And Development Corporation Admits Filing False Tax Return

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

NEWARK, N.J. – The sole proprietor of a company that purportedly provided internet research and technology consulting services to the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corporation (NWCDC) today admitted that she failed to report substantial income she received from the NWCDC, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Retha Renee McCoy, 53, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose Linares in Newark federal court to Count 4 of an information charging her with making and subscribing a false U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, for tax year 2012, which intentionally omitted approximately $56,792 in income that she received from the NWCDC in that year.

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

From September 2007 to March 2013, McCoy received approximately $355,519 from the NWCDC, which was paid in the form of checks written to McCoy individually, or to a company of which she was the sole proprietor, Precision Technology Services (Precision).

The proceeds that the NWCDC paid to McCoy far exceeded the value of any work performed by her as a consultant for the NWCDC.  In fact, a substantial portion of these payments were fraudulent and orchestrated to fund a stream of concealed payments from McCoy to Linda Watkins Brashear, the Executive Director of the NWCDC at the time. Brashear pleaded guilty in December 2015 to defrauding the NWCDC of her honest services in the affairs of the NWCDC by taking kickbacks (including payments from McCoy), and of the NWCDC’s money and property, as well as to subscribing to a false federal personal income tax return. 

McCoy further admitted that she had failed to report significant income received from the NWCDC directly or through Precision on her 2009, 2010 and 2011 federal personal income tax returns.

The charge of filing a false tax return to which McCoy pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12, 2016.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI’s Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; IRS – Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Newark office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, as well as criminal investigators of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, with the investigation leading. U.S. Attorney Fishman also thanked the New Jersey Comptroller’s Office, under the direction of Philip J. Degnan, for its assistance in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mala Ahuja Harker, Jacques Pierre and Leslie Schwartz of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.

Defense counsel: Angelo Servidio Esq., Nutley, New Jersey

Updated June 6, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-163