the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Elmwood Park NJ, A Bergen County, New Jersey, man today admitted conspiring with his father to file false federal tax returns for shell companies, resulting in $191,953 in fraudulent refunds, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Jason Crespo, 35, of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiring with Jose Crespo, his father, to defraud the IRS by filing false corporate tax returns and cashing the resulting fraudulent refund checks.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Between 2010 and 2012, Jason and Jose Crespo filed numerous false federal corporate tax returns – IRS Forms 1120 – for fake businesses, knowing that the businesses were not real and that the credits claimed on the tax returns were false. The Crespos took advantage of fuel excise tax credits offered under federal tax law. The federal government taxes gasoline, diesel fuel, and certain other types of fuel, but certain commercial uses of these fuels are nontaxable. Businesses that purchase fuel for a nontaxable use can claim a tax credit by filing a “Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels” – IRS Form 4136.
In one instance Jason and Jose Crespo filed a federal corporate tax return for 2008 for Jason Cleaning Service Corp. that falsely claimed a fuel excise tax credit of $14,556 and a resulting refund of $10,592. In fact, Jason Cleaning Service Corporation was a shell company and the fuel excise tax credit and other tax return numbers were false. Jason Crespo received and cashed the $10,592 refund check at a check-cashing facility in Guttenberg, New Jersey. He cashed many other refund checks for similar false tax returns at this same facility.
Jose Crespo pleaded guilty on Sept. 11, 2017, before Judge Linares to engaging in the fuel excise tax credit scheme and another tax fraud scheme, both of which claimed fraudulent refunds from the IRS of approximately $1.5 million. Jose Crespo was sentenced on Dec. 20, 2017, to three years in prison.
Marilyn Crespo, Jose Crespo’s wife, pleaded guilty on March 1, 2018, before Judge Linares to engaging in the same fuel excise tax credit scheme and causing a loss to the IRS of $286,742. She was sentenced June 27, 2018, to one year and one day in prison.
The filing a false tax return count carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison, and a potential $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Jason Crespo’s sentencing is set for Oct. 4, 2018.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.