You are here

Justice News

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Newark Non-Profit Director And Political Fundraiser Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Tax Evasion

NEWARK, N.J. – The former executive director of a Newark-based childcare and community program and a partner in a political fundraising and consulting company today admitted committing wire fraud and tax evasion, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Kiburi D. Tucker, 42, of Newark, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and four counts of tax evasion.

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

As the executive director of The Centre Inc., Tucker embezzled Centre Inc. funds, through ATM, debit card and bank withdrawal transactions to fund his personal expenditures such as gambling, travel, and furnishing his home. Tucker defrauded The Centre Inc. of $332,116 from 2012 through 2015.

Tucker also intentionally under-reported the proceeds that he took from The Centre Inc. to the IRS. He intentionally under-reported the income that he received for tax year 2015 from his partnership in Elite Strategies, a political fundraising and consulting company, by filing false federal personal income tax returns. Tucker admitted that he was responsible for underreporting $177,040 in income from the above sources for the 2015 tax year, resulting in a tax loss of $56,509.

The count of wire fraud is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The count of tax evasion is punishable by a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2018.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark; IRS-Criminal Investigation, 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, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacques S. Pierre and Jihee G. Suh of the Special Prosecutions Division.

Defense counsel: Timothy M. Donohue Esq., West Orange, New Jersey

Public Corruption
Press Release Number: 
Updated November 20, 2017