Pharmacist admits $4.1M tax evasion scheme with co-owners

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A pharmacist has admitted that he and two co-owners evaded $4.1 million in taxes over three years by using a check cashing business to hide income from their pharmacy business.

Ajay Barthwal pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit tax evasion. The 43-year-old Marlboro resident faces up to five years in prison when he’s sentenced July 7. Federal prosecutors say Barthwal represented that the pharmacy’s ownership was split between him and his wife. But he actually had two silent partners who previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the tax evasion scheme. Prosecutors say the trio owned equal shares in the business. They agreed to hide $9.3 million in revenue between 2009 and 2011 and submitted tax filings to the IRS that substantially under-reported the pharmacy’s income.