Luck runs out for New Jersey man who defrauded IRS by falsifying records to hide gambling winnings

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TRENTON, NJ — Luis Crespo, 43, a resident of Sayreville, NJ, pleaded guilty on September 30th to conspiring to submit false claims to the IRS through filing fraudulent tax returns. Sentencing is scheduled for January 28, 2022. @IRS_CI

Crespo pleaded guilty via videoconference before U. S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton. Crespo pleaded guilty to count one of a three count indictment that was handed up by a grand jury on August 27, 2020.

According to documents and statement made in court:

Crespo was part of a conspiracy led by Michael Watsey, who orchestrated a scheme to file false claims or cause the filing of false claims, namely the filing of false tax returns in the years 2016 and 2017. Watsey created false Forms W2-G, which showed significant gambling winnings and federal tax withheld. Watsey provided these false Forms W2-G showing gambling winnings to Crespo. For tax years 2016 and 2017, Crespo filed income tax returns with the IRS that included the false Form W-2Gs that requested a total of $508,787 in false federal tax refunds. Based on the false returns that he filed, the IRS paid Crespo tax refunds totaling approximately $510,668.

The count of conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims carries a statutory maximum prison sentence of 10 years and a statutory maximum fine equal to the greatest of: (1) $250,000; (2) twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain derived from the offense; or (3) twice the gross amount of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense.

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The investigation was conducted by IRS-Criminal Investigation, Newark Field Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig.

Defense Counsel: John M. Holliday, Esq. – Trenton, NJ