A woman who ran a Jersey City tax preparation service and her husband have pleaded guilty in a scheme to obtain fraudulent tax refunds by filing dozens of bogus returns, sometimes in the names of dead people, with the states of New Jersey and Hawaii, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Friday.
Several others also pleaded guilty and will be sentenced to probation. State officials say a crew of family and friends helped carry out the fraud.
They were nabbed in Operation Coast to Coast, which was carried out by a number of state agencies, including the Division of Taxation and the State Police Cyber Crimes Unit. All told, the scammers tried to get $400,000 but only obtained $246,667 because some of the filings were rejected, authorities said.
Mylove D. Tetterton, 45, of East Orange, was the ringleader, authorities say, and is expected to be sentenced to 12 years in prison in Hudson County Superior Court on charges including money laundering and trafficking in personal identifying information. She also faces charges of theft and misconduct by a corporate official for getting New Jersey and federal refunds between 2012 and 2015
Her husband Anthony Hodges, 44, was sentenced to five years for assisting Tetterton, who owned Mylove's Tax Service, a tax preparation service, in Jersey City. The state will allow Hodges to serve his sentence before Tetterton begins her's because the couple have young children, authorities said.
“Tetterton was prolific in filing false tax returns, recruiting a crew of relatives and friends to convert nearly a quarter of a million dollars in ill-gotten refund checks into cash,” said Grewal. “We are determined to stop this type of fraud, which is costly to taxpayers everywhere, and in this case, we worked jointly with special agents in Hawaii to uncover this scheme and bring those responsible to justice.”
Others charged in the various scams associated with Mylove include:
Reginald Haines, 51, of Neptune, who was sentenced on Feb. 15. to three years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Mirtha Ospina. He pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy.
Constantine Kunaka, 27, of Jersey City, pleaded guilty on Feb. 15, in a related investigation to an accusation charging him with receiving stolen property and filing fraudulent tax returns with the State of New Jersey. He must pay $238,693 in restitution to the State of New Jersey.
The following defendants pleaded guilty to third-degree charges and were sentenced Thursday to sentences of probation, or are awaiting sentencing and face sentences of probation:
Jean Allen, 49, of Egg Harbor Township
Jasmire Coar, 29, of Jersey City
Jamal Coar, 30, of Jersey City
Jermaine Thomas, 47, of Jersey City
Kevin Grant, 50, of Jersey City
Yolanda Terry, 44, of Freehold
Karen Bristol-Thomas, 55, of Whitesboro
Max Clairsin, 27, of Jersey City
Rosetta Hodges, 37, of Neptune
Joseph Pierce, 49, of New Brunswick
Gabriel Daravina, 44, of Roselle
William Young, 58, of Jersey City
Six other defendants will be admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention Program.
Tetterton is responsible for full restitution for the money stolen through the tax fraud scheme involving the State of Hawaii. Each of the other defendants is responsible for restitution limited to the amount he or she actually received.
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