Former Linden Police Officer Admits Filing False Tax Returns

NEWARK – A former Linden police officer admitted filing false federal income tax returns for three years by failing to report income from the sale of a rental property he owned, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Walter Durham, 43, of Linden pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court to one count of a three-count Information charging him with subscribing to false tax returns for tax years 2006, 2007 and 2008.

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

In 1998, Durham purchased a three-family rental property in Plainfield. He rented out two of the units and received payments in the form of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) Section 8 assistance from the Plainfield Housing Authority and the N.J. Department of Community Affairs. In 2006, Durham sold the property in Plainfield and realized $216,667 in capital gains. He failed to report the capital gains on his 2006 federal income tax return. Although Durham did not own any rental property in 2007 or 2008, he reported rental real estate losses on his federal income tax returns for tax years 2007 and 2008, in the amounts of $42,708 and $43,594, respectively. Durham failed to pay a total of $61,754 in federal income taxes.

The count of subscribing to false tax returns to which Durham pleaded guilty is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for March 6, 2013.

Fishman credited special agents of HUD-OIG, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cary Rubenstein; and IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

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