Former State Tax Investigator Sentenced For Using Computer Access To Steal From Taxpayer Accounts

TRENTON – A former investigator with the New Jersey Division of Taxation was sentenced Tuesday for using his access to taxpayer accounts in state computers to steal a total of $6,630.

Joseph Stack, 62, of Toms River, was sentenced to three years of probation by Superior Court Judge Mark J. Fleming in Mercer County, Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa announced. Stack was ordered to pay $6,630 in restitution and will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey.

Stack pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to third-degree theft by unlawful taking. The charge was contained in an Aug. 28, 2009 state grand jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice. Stack was charged as a result of an investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Taxation’s Internal Security Unit.

Deputy Attorney General Pearl Minato prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau and represented the state at the sentencing.

In pleading guilty, Stack admitted that between Aug. 1, 2005 and Aug. 31, 2006, he used his access to computer records of the Division of Taxation to steal money by making three unauthorized transfers of funds from the business accounts of two taxpayers – one deceased and one living – into the taxpayer accounts of his own deceased mother and a living relative. The transfers totaled $6,630, including transfers of $6,184 and $300 into his deceased mother’s account from the business account of the other deceased taxpayer, and a transfer of $146 into the account of Stack’s living relative from the business account of the living victim. Stack prepared state income tax returns on behalf of his deceased mother and the other relative claiming that the amounts transferred represented taxes that they pre-paid.

The investigation originated as a result of an audit performed by the Division of Taxation’s Inheritance Tax Audit Unit. Stack’s employment with the Division of Taxation was terminated in March 2009 as a result of the investigation.

The investigation was led for the State Police Official Corruption Bureau by Detective Glenn Sefick and Detective Sgt. 1st Class Myles A. Cappiello. The investigation was led for the Division of Taxation’s Internal Security Bureau by Investigators Carolyn Fox and Ken Johnson.

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