Wildwood Mayor Admits Tax Dodge: Feds

Wildwood Mayor Peter J. Byron admitted Friday that he ducked paying taxes on $40,425 that he received for working as a salesman for a law firm, federal authorities said.

Wildwood Mayor Peter J. Byron
Wildwood Mayor Peter J. Byron Photo Credit: FACEBOOK

Byron, 67, officially pleaded guilty to twice willfully "aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of fraudulent tax returns" to the IRS for calendar years 2017 and 2018, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced on March 24.

The mayor still has a state case to deal with.

He, former Mayor Ernest V. Troiano Jr. and City Commissioner Steven E. Mikulski were charged last year with fraudulently collecting state health benefits.

SEE: Current, Former Wildwood Mayors, Commissioner Charged With Scamming Health Benefits Program

The federal case involves work that federal officials said Byron was paid for by a Gloucester County law firm but didn’t report to the IRS. He’d been serving as a city commissioner and was in charge of the revenue and finance departments at the time, records show.

The former mayor took a deal from the government rather than risk the consequences of a trial following an investigation by the FBI Atlantic City Public Corruption Task Force, Sellinger said.

The unit includes members of the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey State Police, and special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, he said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of Sellinger's Special Prosecutions Unit in Newark secured the plea and will handle the sentencing, which U.S. District Court Judge Karen M. Williams scheduled for Aug. 2 in Camden.

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