Elizabeth Man Pleads Guilty To Tax Fraud Charge

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NEWARK – An Elizabeth man admitted to preparing numerous false individual income tax returns on behalf of his clients in Jersey City, resulting in a significant tax loss to the IRS, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced Tuesday.

Michael D. Merritt, 49, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh to an information charging him with aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation to the IRS of a false and fraudulent 2007 Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040.

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According to documents filed in this case and statements made during Merritt’s guilty plea proceeding, from January 2007 through April 2009, Merritt aided nine of his clients in the preparation and presentation to the IRS of false and fraudulent 2006, 2007, and 2008 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns. Specifically, Merritt included in the returns fabricated and inflated credits and deductions – including child and dependent care expenses, tuition and fees, charitable contributions, and job expenses – in order for his clients to obtain larger refunds than they were entitled to receive. In all, Merritt defrauded the IRS of approximately $72,971.

The charge to which Merritt pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of threeyears in prison and a $100,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for August 1.


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