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Press Release

Owner Of Ocean County, N.J., Architectural Firm Sentenced To Three Months In Prison For Submitting False Corporate Returns

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

NEWARK, N.J. – The owner of an Ocean County, N.J., architectural and engineering firm was sentenced today to three months in prison and three months of house arrest for filing fraudulent tax returns on behalf of his firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Pravin H. Patel, 67, of Toms River, N.J., previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an Information charging him with subscribing to false corporate tax returns on behalf of his firm, Pravin H. Patel Associates Inc., of Toms River, N.J. Judge Chesler imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

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

Patel was the owner and operator of Pravin H. Patel Associates Inc. for more than 25 years; in recent years, the firm’s primary clients included the Toms River Board of Education and Ocean County College. Between 2005 and 2009, Patel filed corporate tax returns which falsely passed off personal expenses as legitimate business deductions.

Among the personal expenses which Patel admitted to improperly using to reduce the tax liability owed by his company was $112,650 in payments for renovations on his personal residence in 2006. Patel also admitted that the corporate tax return for the year ending in March 2007 improperly included more than $8,200 in expenses related to a personal country club membership and associated fees, as well as numerous personal expenses paid through a corporate credit card. Patel admitted that the corporate tax return for the year ending in March 2007 included false deductions of more than $145,000 and that the tax loss over a four-year period for which he is criminally liable totaled $63,815.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Chesler sentenced Patel to two years of supervised release, which includes three months of house arrest, and ordered him to pay a $15,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, and special agents of the FBI under Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, with the investigation that resulted in today’s sentence.

The government is represented by Special Litigation Counsel Mark J. McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.


Defense counsel: Lawrence Horn Esq. and Richard Sapinski Esq., Newark

Updated March 18, 2015