These are some of NJ’s highest-profile tax cheats
The only law enforcement agency with the authority to investigate federal tax crimes had no shortage of activity in New Jersey during fiscal year 2019.
A handful of "significant cases" out of the Garden State are listed in an annual report from the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division.
"The filing season itself doesn't impact us in IRS-Criminal Investigation. We're busy 365 days a year," Special Agent Robert Glantz of the Newark Field Office said.
Year after year, most of the cases handled by the division feature individuals in legitimate occupations, in legitimate occupations, intentionally cheating the tax system, he said. The cases featured in the 2019 report are the product of investigations that went back years to uncover wrongdoing.
Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino
The "Jersey Shore" reality television star was sentenced in Oct. 2018 to 8 months in prison and 2 years of supervised release, plus hundreds of hours of community service, $337,693 in restitution and a fine of $10,000 for tax evasion. Sorrentino had pleaded guilty to aiding in the preparation of a fraudulent tax return.
Sorrentino admitted that he took actions to conceal some of the income he earned in 2010, 2011 and 2012 in order to avoid paying the full amount of taxes owed, the IRS report said.
His brother Mark was sentenced to two years in prison.
Sorrentino was released from jail in September 2019.
The resident of Wayne was sentenced in Oct. 2018 to 4 years in prison and 2 years of supervised release for embezzling millions of dollars from a New York-based hospitality company for which he was the chief operating officer. Dfouni had previously pleaded guilty to tax evasion and wire fraud.
In total, according to the IRS report, Dfouni embezzled $13.8 million from his employer and failed to report $27,739,114 in income to the IRS between 2007 and 2014.
Convicted for preparing fraudulent tax returns, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, the Farmingdale man was sentenced in Nov. 2018 to 8 and 1/2 years in prison and 3 years of supervised release.
The report said Newsholme perpetrated a "long-running scheme to defraud investment clients out of millions of dollars, forging an attorney's signature without authorization in connection with that scheme and preparing false tax returns for his clients."
The licensed CPA had pleaded guilty to making and subscribing a false tax return, and in May 2019 was sentenced to more than two years in prison and another year of supervised release.
According to the IRS report, the New Brunswick resident avoided more than $672,000 in taxes for tax year 2010.
The former Ocean County chiropractor was sentenced in May to five years in prison and three years of supervised release for income tax evasion and failure to file a report for a bank account he had in Russia. The illegal activity involved more than $100,000 over a 12-month period.
"It all comes down to greed," Glantz said. "It's our neighbors, it's someone in town who coaches Little League, who goes to church every Sunday. But they decided to intentionally cheat on their taxes."
Glantz said the Division's conviction rate for tax crimes has never fallen below 90%. This year's report marked 100 years of criminal investigation for the agency.
Nationwide, IRS-CI initiated 1,5000 investigations related to tax crimes during fiscal year 2019. Over that period, 848 individuals were sentenced for tax crimes. Another 985 investigations were initiated, and 878 people sentenced, related to non-tax crimes such as money laundering.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.