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Elmwood Park Member Of Bergen Family Admits Role In $2Million Tax Fraud

Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT file photo

The third member of a Bergen County family that collected nearly $2 million combined in illegal tax refunds admitted his role in one of the scams on Thursday.

Jason Crespo, 35, of Elmwood Park told a federal judge in Newark that he and his father, mortgage broker Jose Crespo of Fort Lee, filed several bogus federal corporate tax returns claiming fuel excise credits for commercial use, netting $191,953 in refunds they weren’t entitled to.

In one case, the Crespos filed a federal corporate tax return for 2008 for a non-existent shell company called Jason Cleaning Service Corp. that falsely claimed a fuel excise tax credit of $14,556 – illegally netting them a $10,592 refund, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.

“Jason Crespo received and cashed the $10,592 refund check at a check-cashing facility in Guttenberg,” Carpenito said. “He cashed many other refund checks for similar false tax returns at this same facility.

Jose Crespo pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Newark last Sept. 11 to the same scheme, as well as to additional scams – bringing his illegal refund total to $1.5 million -- and was later sentenced to three years in federal prison.

His wife pleaded guilty this past March to netting $286,742 in illegal refunds by participating in the fuel excise tax credit scheme. She was sentenced on Wednesday to one year and one day in prison.

Jason Crespo’s sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 4.

Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation with the investigation leading to the trio of guilty pleas, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal, deputy chief of his Criminal Division in Newark.

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