NYPD Officer Pleads Guilty In Manhattan Federal Court To Tax Fraud And Identity Theft
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JONATHAN WALLY, a Police Officer with the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), pled guilty today in Manhattan federal to tax fraud and identity theft offenses related to his preparation and filing of false and fraudulent U.S. individual income tax returns (“tax returns”) on behalf of himself and others. WALLY pled guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Jonathan Wally spent his off-duty time breaking the law he enforced as a police officer. With his guilty plea today, he will now pay the price for his crimes of identity theft and tax fraud, including the return of all the money he swindled from the IRS.”
According to the court filings and statements made today in court:
WALLY has been employed by the NYPD as a Police Officer assigned to the 34th precinct located in the Washington Heights/Inwood section of New York, New York since 2003. Since at least 2008, he also served as a registered tax preparer with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”). Although the NYPD requires its Police Officers to obtain written authorization to engage in off-duty employment, WALLY never sought or obtained such authorization to work as a tax preparer.
From 2010 through April 2012, WALLY defrauded the IRS by causing it to issue tax refunds to other individuals based on fraudulent and false tax returns prepared and filed by WALLY on behalf of those taxpayers. Among other things, the tax returns claimed deductions for false dependents. During that time period and continuing through January 2013, WALLY further defrauded the IRS by preparing and filing fraudulent and false tax returns on his own behalf that claimed false dependents and failed to declare certain income, causing him to receive tax refunds to which he was not entitled.
In connection with the fraudulent tax return scheme, WALLY obtained the personal identifying information and Social Security cards of children, which he used to declare the children as dependents on false and fraudulent tax returns he prepared and filed on behalf of others and himself.
As a result of the false and fraudulent tax returns prepared and filed by WALLY on behalf of other individual taxpayers, the IRS paid them at least $146,818 in fraudulent tax refunds. As a result of the false and fraudulent tax returns prepared and filed by WALLY on his own behalf, and his failure to declare the income he earned as a tax preparer, the IRS paid WALLY at least $48,990 in fraudulent tax refunds. In total, WALLY’s tax scheme defrauded the IRS in the amount of $195,808.
WALLY, 34, of Bronx, New York, pled guilty to four counts. Counts One and Two charged WALLY with the tax offenses of aiding and abetting the filing of a false and fraudulent tax return and subscribing to a false and fraudulent tax return, respectively. Each of Counts One and Two carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison. Counts Three and Four charged WALLY with identify theft. Count Three carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, and Count Four carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
In addition, WALLY has agreed to forfeit and make restitution to the IRS of $195,808. He further has agreed to file accurate amended returns for himself for calendar years 2009 through 2013, and not to contest any interest or penalties assessed against him by the IRS in connection with such amended returns. He also has agreed not to engage in any tax preparation work on behalf of others in the future. WALLY is scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield on December 9, 2013 at 2:30 p.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, and the Internal Affairs Bureau of the NYPD.
This prosecution is being handled by the Office's Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorney Carrie H. Cohen is in charge of the prosecution.