Bergen County Woman Admits To Embezzling Money From Tour Company And Subscribing To Fake Tax Returns | USAO-NJ



NEWARK, NJ – A woman in Bergen County, New Jersey today admitted to participating in a multi-year embezzlement program and subscribing to a false personal income tax return, Acting Prosecutor Rachael said A. Honig.

Estela Laluf, 76, of River Edge, New Jersey, pleaded guilty by video conference before U.S. District Judge Julien Xavier Neals to a brief accusing her of one count of wire fraud and one count of fake underwriting tax return.

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

Between October 2010 and August 2016, Laluf held a management position in a New Jersey tours company. Meanwhile, Laluf and another employee, who held an accountant position at the company and had the authority to issue checks to the company’s bank accounts, devised a scheme to embezzle company funds. . Laluf would have the employee write company checks to actual company employees and contractors, which did not reflect any actual work or service performed by those people. The employee would then cash these checks, and Laluf and the employee would convert the resulting funds for their personal use. Laluf and the employee embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the company. Laluf then fraudulently omitted the proceeds of the embezzlement scheme from his tax return for the 2016 tax year.

The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. The charge of subscribing to a false tax return carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a fine of $ 250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for January 24, 2022.

Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited the Postal Inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in-Charge Raimundo Marrero, and Special Agents of the IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of special agent in charge Michael Montanez, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant US Attorney Andrew M. Trombly of the Cybercrime Unit in Newark.


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