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2 plead guilty in NJ tax refund fraud scheme

Local News, News | Feb 12, 2013

2 plead guilty in NJ tax refund fraud scheme

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two New Jersey men have admitted their roles in a tax refund fraud scheme that federal authorities say cheated the government out of more than $12 million.

New Jersey’s U.S. attorney says 53-year-old Bennie Haynes of Dayton and 50-year-old Manuel Rodriguez of New Brunswick pleaded guilty Monday to multiple charges.

They were among 14 people charged in a scheme to file false tax returns and divert refund checks. Haynes, a former U.S. Postal Service carrier, admitted to providing addresses from his mail route for use in the scheme.

Court documents show Rodriguez obtained cash from the refunds.

Authorities say the scheme was one of the largest of its kind ever uncovered. There were more than 8,000 fraudulent U.S. income tax returns filed, seeking more than $65 million in refunds.