Owner of Ocean City Architectural Firm Admits Submitting False Corporate Returns
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 26, 2013|
NEWARK—The owner of an Ocean County, New Jersey architectural and engineering firm today admitted filing fraudulent tax returns on behalf of his firm, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Pravin H. Patel, 67, of Toms River, New Jersey, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler to an information charging him with subscribing to false corporate tax returns on behalf of his firm, Pravin H. Patel Associates Inc., of Toms River, New Jersey.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Patel was the owner and operator of Pravin H. Patel Associates Inc. for more than 25 years; in recent years, the firm’s primary clients included the Toms River Board of Education and Ocean County College. Between 2005 and 2009, Patel filed corporate tax returns that falsely passed off personal expenses as legitimate business deductions.
Among the personal expenses which Patel admitted to improperly using to reduce the tax liability owed by his company was $112,650 in payments for renovations on his personal residence in 2006. Patel also admitted that the corporate tax return for the year ending in March 2007 improperly included more than $8,200 in expenses related to a personal country club membership and associated fees, as well as numerous personal expenses paid through a corporate credit card. Patel admitted that the corporate tax return for the year ending in March 2007 included false deductions of more than $145,000 and that the tax loss over a four-year period for which he is criminally liable totaled $63,815.
The count to which Patel pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for June 4, 2013.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, and special agents of the FBI under Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez, with the investigation that resulted in today’s plea.
The government is represented by Special Litigation Counsel Mark J. McCarren of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division.