Political fundraising consultant guilty of tax evasion

Linda Jumah and Kiburi Tucker appear in the July 1, 2015 image.

A woman who organized a gala for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka admitted evading taxes while operating her political fundraising and consulting business in 2015.

Linda O. Jumah, 35, pleaded guilty before Chief U.S. District Judge Jose L. Linares in Newark federal court on Monday to an information charging her with one count of tax evasion.

She was released on $75,000 unsecured bond.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick, documents filed in this case and statements made in court, as owner of Elite Strategies LLC, Jumah intentionally under-reported income that she received from the business for tax year 2015 by filing a false federal personal income tax return.

Jumah admitted that after sharing proceeds with a business partner, she under-reported $121,941 in income for the 2015 tax year, resulting in a tax loss of $39,633.

According to published reports, her business partner in the Newark-based firm Elite Strategies LLC, was Kiburi Tucker, son of the late Newark City Council President Donald Tucker and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Essex). Tucker and Jumah organized Baraka’s 2nd Annual Mayor’s Ball, a $1,000 a plate event attended more than 300 people.

The tax evasion charge carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 14, 2018.

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