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Newark Couple Charged With Tax Fraud, Money Laundering

A bank teller displays $100 bills (file/credit: Oscar Siagian/AFP/GettyImages)

A bank teller displays $100 bills (file/credit: Oscar Siagian/AFP/GettyImages)

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NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Newark couple was charged Wednesday with failing to file tax returns for three unregistered companies, as well as money laundering.

Maritza Torres-Falu, 54, and Luis A. Velez, 55, were arrested Wednesday morning and charged with conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering, according to the Essex County Prosecutor’s office.

The couple did not file state tax returns or register three businesses – a consulting company known as Latin Eagles Group LLC; Pepe Printing and Graphics; and L. Velez General Contractor LLC, prosecutors said.

Authorities did not detail the specifics of how the couple allegedly laundered money, or indicate whether any of the unregistered firms were shell companies.

An investigation into the alleged misdeeds is ongoing.

Torres-Falu was arrested at the couple’s home on Clifton Avenue in Newark following the execution of a search warrant, while Velez was arrested at the Roche pharmaceutical company in Nutley where he works, prosecutors said.

The couple failed to file tax returns for the three companies from 2008 through 2011. They are also charged with the filing of fraudulent tax returns and conspiracy, in addition to money laundering.

“We are alleging that these individuals willfully and intentionally concealed substantial income and assets as part of a scheme to defraud the state,’’ Acting Prosecutor Carolyn Murray said in a news release.

Each of the counts against the couple carries up to five years in prison.

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