An accountant from Toms River, N.J., was arrested Monday morning by a agents from a host of federal agencies on charges she allegedly stole $905,000 from client tax refunds and Social Security benefits, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
Doreen Gentile, 59,was arrested by agents of the IRS, Social Security Administration and the Office of the Inspector General after she was recently indicted by a federal grand jury, the statement from Fishman said. She has been charged with 14 counts of mail fraud, nine counts of forging endorsements on treasury checks of the United States, two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of filing false income tax returns.
Her case will be heard in Camden federal court, Fishman said.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed Monday, Gentile prepared federal and state tax returns for people throughout southern New Jersey and also managed property in Salem County.
As part of her alleged scheme, Gentile would show her clients a tax return that indicated that they had no taxes owed or a refund due, owed a minimal amount of tax – generally under $40 – or were due a refund that was far less then what they were entitled. Gentile then prepared a second set of tax returns, signed without her clients’ permission, it is alleged, that she submitted to the IRS for the full tax refund. Based on the second set of returns, the IRS or New Jersey issued tax refund checks care of her businesses and mailed them to her post office box in Toms River. Gentile then deposited the tax refund checks into the DAG & Associates bank account without her clients’ permission, it is alleged.
In addition, when one of her clients died in Sept. 2005, according to court documents, Gentile did not inform the Social Security Administration. Instead, she allowed the SSA to continue sending retirement benefits, which she accessed through the deceased victim’s bank account and used for her personal expenses at clothing and jewelry stores.
The 14 counts of mail fraud alleged in the indictment each carry a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The nine counts of forging endorsements on treasury checks of the United States and one count of theft of government funds each carry a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The two counts of filing false income tax returns each carry a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine. The two counts of aggravated identity theft each carry a maximum potential consecutive sentence of two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.