Bergen County Woman Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Embezzling Money from Guided Tour Company and Subscribing to False Tax Returns

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NEWARK, N.J. – A Bergen County, New Jersey, woman was sentenced today to 21 months in prison for her participation in a multi-year embezzlement scheme and to subscribing to a false personal income tax return, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Ruby Baroni, 55, of Lyndhurst, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Julien Xavier Neals to an information charging her with one count of wire fraud and one count of subscribing to a false tax return. Judge Neals imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between October 2010 and August 2016, Baroni held an accounting position at a New Jersey guided-tour company. In that capacity, Baroni had authority to cut checks against the company’s bank accounts. During that period, Baroni and Estela Laluf, a manager at the company, devised a scheme to embezzle funds from the company. Laluf would direct Baroni to cut company checks to actual company employees and contractors, which did not reflect any actual work or services done by those individuals. Baroni would then cash these checks, and Laluf and Baroni would then convert the resulting funds to their personal use. In this way, Laluf and Baroni embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company. Baroni then fraudulently omitted the proceeds from the embezzlement scheme from her tax year 2016 tax return. Laluf pleaded guilty before Judge Neals to a separate information related to the scheme on Sept. 20, 2021, and was sentenced on April 25, 2022, to 27 months in prison.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Neals sentenced Baroni to two years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $295,297 in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Damon Wood, Philadelphia Division, and special agents of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Trombly of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.