On Aug. 25, a New Jersey doctor was taken into police custody after he was accused of fabricating a payroll in order to avoid paying taxes. He was essentially accused of falsely adding 28 people to a payroll in order to appear as if he was paying these employees.
According to investigators, an accountant allegedly gave the doctor names, social security numbers and other pertinent information in order to create 28 "phantom" employees. The doctor then allegedly paid $2.2 million to the phantom employees. At least 1,500 checks were issued. This alleged scheme reportedly saved him more than $320,000 in taxes. It was also alleged that the doctor earned about $1.4 million for services that he may not have provided. He also reportedly did not pay taxes on this amount.
The doctor, age 44, was charged with tax fraud, records tampering and money laundering, among others. A 51-year-old man who was also believed to be involved in the scam was accused of being a co-conspirator. He was reportedly facing similar charges that also include conspiracy and theft by deception. Both were being held in jail on $200,000 bail when the report was released.
Being accused of fraud can result in serious consequences that could potentially include jail or prison and the requirement to pay restitution. An attorney may craft a defense depending on the case circumstances. For example, if the evidence against the accused person is not strong, the attorney may argue that the person was not involved in the fraud scheme. If there is strong evidence, the accused person may be given an opportunity to work with the prosecution, which could reduce the severity of the charges and the associated consequences.
Source: NJ, "N.J. doctor indicted for money laundering, tax fraud," Susan Livio, Aug. 25, 2015