Former Jersey City Public School Teacher Admits Preparing False Tax Returns, Tax Evasion
NEWARK, N.J. – A Hudson County, N.J., man who worked as a tax preparer admitted today that he filed falsified returns on behalf of his clients, and also failed to report his own income, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Elijah Washington, Jr., of Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an Indictment charging him with aiding in the preparation of false tax returns and tax evasion. Washington was arrested after preparing a false tax return for an undercover law enforcement agent and was indicted in April 2012 by a federal grand jury.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In addition to being a public school teacher, Washington owned and operated a tax preparation business – Elijah’s Professional Tax Service – in Jersey City, where he prepared tax returns for tax years 2005 through 2008. He fabricated various items to obtain larger refunds for clients, including tuition and fees deductions, child tax credits, charitable contributions and job expenses. Washington also failed to report his own income on the money he earned from the tax preparation business.
On the tax evasion charges, Washington faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the loss sustained by the Government, or twice the gain derived from the offense, whichever is greatest. Sentencing is scheduled for April 24, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Bruck of the U.S. Attorney’s Office General Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Peter Willis Esq., Jersey City