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Justice News

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

Two Essex County, New Jersey, Men Admit Roles In Prison Tax Scam

NEWARK, N.J. – Two East Orange, New Jersey, men today admitted their roles in a conspiracy to file false federal income tax returns on behalf of inmates at the Essex County Correctional Facility, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Reginald Eaford, 46, and Winfred Moses, 48, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court to separate informations charging them each with conspiracy to make and present false, fictitious, and fraudulent claims to the IRS.

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

From 2013 through Aug. 5, 2014, Eaford, Moses, and others conspired to file bogus federal tax returns in order to fraudulently obtain tax refunds.

Eaford was an inmate at the Essex County Correctional Facility from approximately May 20, 2013 through Feb. 12, 2014. As part of the scheme, Eaford, Moses, and others obtained social security numbers, dates of birth, and other information from inmates at the jail. Eaford and Moses would then generate false W-2 forms indicating that the inmates had earned income during the relevant tax year and that federal income tax had been withheld from their paychecks.

Afterwards, Eaford and Moses filed false federal income tax returns on behalf of the inmates and had the refund checks sent to the Essex County Correctional Facility or to Moses’s East Orange residence. The proceeds of the fraud were split among Eaford, Moses, and the relevant inmates. Eaford and Moses admitted that they filed 112 phony tax returns that sought approximately $670,206 in fraudulent refunds.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for March 28, 2017.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, postal inspectors from the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, and the Internal Affairs Division of Essex County Jail, under the leadership of Warden Roy Hendricks, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Francisco J. Navarro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark.

Defense counsel:       

Eaford: Assistant Federal Public Defender Lisa Mack Esq., Newark, New Jersey

Moses: Leigh-Anne Mulrey Esq., Morristown, New Jersey

Updated December 20, 2016