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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 23, 2018

Monmouth County, New Jersey, Couple Charged With Conspiring To Evade Personal And Employment Taxes

TRENTON, N.J. – A Monmouth County, New Jersey, couple was arrested this morning by federal agents on charges of conspiracy to defraud the United States by evading the payment of personal and employment taxes, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Tito Viteri, 39, and, Maria Yepez, 38, of Cream Ridge, New Jersey, are charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS of taxes from 2008 through 2016. Viteri and Yepez made their initial appearances today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lois H. Goodman in Trenton federal court and were released on $300,000 each unsecured bonds.

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

Since 2002, Viteri was the owner and operator of numerous commercial trucking companies that performed delivery services, all of but one of which operated in New Jersey. Yepez was the nominal owner of three of the companies.

Viteri and Yepez allegedly conspired to evade paying personal and business-related taxes by engaging in the following acts: (1) “pyramiding” companies and using nominees as the purported owners of several of the companies in order to shield business assets while incurring employment tax liabilities; (2) failing to file timely and accurate quarterly federal tax returns by falsely categorizing employees as independent contractors, for whom employment taxes did not have to be paid; (3) receiving unreported kickback income from an employee; and (4) concealing personal income and assets by using nominees and depositing money into their child’s bank account.

In 2008, an IRS audit determined that Viteri owed approximately $785,000 in unpaid taxes for one of his companies, and he himself owed approximately $315,000 in unpaid personal taxes. Although Viteri began making payments to the IRS in August 2011, he stopped making those payments in December 2013, claiming he was not “bringing enough money home.” Despite his claims, at around the same time (February 2013 to February 2016) Viteri and Yepez made approximately $111,000 in rental payments (approximately $3,000 per month) for a property in Chesterfield where they lived.

Although Viteri and Yepez still had substantial outstanding tax liabilities, in 2016, Viteri and Yepez purchased a home in Cream Ridge for $929,653. To conceal the purchase of the home from the IRS, Viteri and Yepez purchased the home in the name of Viteri’s mother.

As of March 2018, Viteri owed approximately $1.3 million in personal income taxes, and Viteri and Yepez owed an additional approximately $1.3 million in unpaid business-related taxes.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a statutory maximum fine equal to the greatest of: (1) $250,000; (2) twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense; or (3) twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen; the FBI, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bradley W. Cohen; and the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Peter Nozka in New York, with the investigation leading to today’s arrests.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Fabiana Pierre-Louis, Attorney-in-Charge of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Trenton Branch.

The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel:
Tito Viteri: Darren Gelber Esq., Woodbridge, New Jersey
Maria Yepez: Jerome A. Ballarotto Esq., Hamilton, New Jersey

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-111
Updated March 23, 2018