A former New Jersey Division of Taxation investigator and Toms River resident pleaded guilty Friday to stealing $6,630 from taxpayer accounts and transfering the money to relatives.
Joseph Stack, 61, pleaded guilty to third-degree theft before the state Superior Court in Mercer County. He admitted that between Aug. 1, 2005 and Aug. 31, 2006, he made three unauthorized electronic transfers from the business accounts of two taxpayers into accounts held by family, according to the New Jersey Attorney General.
"This former state investigator, who was responsible for detecting and investigating tax fraud, instead took advantage of his access to state computer records to commit fraud himself," said Attorney General Chiesa in a statement. "We have zero tolerance for such breaches of trust by public officials."
Transfers of $6,184 and $300 were made into an account held by his deceased mother; $146 was transferred to a relative. Income tax returns later prepared by Stack claimed that the money transferred to his relatives was prepaid taxes, the Attorney General's office said.
Stack was charged in a 2009 state grand jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice. An investigation by the New Jersey State Police Official Corruption Bureau and the Division of Taxation’s Internal Security Unit led to the charge, according to the Attorney General's office.
Sentencing is scheduled for March 12 and the state will recommend that Stack be sentenced to three years of probation, conditioned upon him serving 364 days in county jail; he must also pay $6,630 in restitution and will be permanently barred from public employment in New Jersey, the Attorney General's office said.