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Alleged tax fraud money from Hawaii was used to gamble in Atlantic City, charges claim

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Two Egg Harbor Township women are among two dozen state residents accused of bilking Hawaii out of nearly a quarter-million in fraudulent tax returns. A Jersey City tax preparer who allegedly led the group used much of the stolen money to gamble in Atlantic City, according to Attorney General Gurbir Grewal, who announced the charges Tuesday. Township residents Jean Allen, 47, and D’Jenne Zulu, 24, are charged with seven counts in the 11-count indictment, including conspiracy, trafficking in personal identifying information, theft by deception and financial facilitation of criminal activity. “Operation Coast to Coast” was a join investigation that began when the Hawaii Department of Taxation identified a number of New Jersey residents who fraudulently obtained tax refunds, Grewal said. Mylove D. Tetterton, a 44-year-old tax preparer from East Orange, was the alleged leader of the group, which included her husband, relatives and friends, Grewal said. While the 24 allegedly tried to steal more than $400,000, because some of the filings were denied, they wound up getting $246,667. Tetterton, who owns and operates Mylove’s Tax Service in Jersey City, allegedly filed 65 fraudulent Hawaii tax returns for tax year 2013 for individuals who never resided in or earned wages in Hawaii. She used personal identifying information from co-conspirators or that was stolen, including people who are dead.
FULL INDICTMENT Tetterton cashed only a few checks herself, and had the rest cashed or deposited by her alleged co-conspirators, who then turned over a large part of the money to her, according to the charges. Her husband, Anthony Hodges, 43, allegedly acted as her “money man,” collecting proceeds of the refund checks from the other co-conspirators. Several relatives of the couple also are charged, including Hodges’ sister Rosetta Hodges, 36, and three of Tetterton’s children: Mylove A. Tetterton, 26, Khyreq Tetterton, 25, and Kaseem Stephens, 25. “Tetterton allegedly was prolific in filing false tax returns, recruiting a crew of relatives and friends to convert nearly a quarter of a million dollars in ill-gotten refund checks into cash,” Grewal said. “Fraud of this type is costly to taxpayers everywhere, and I am gratified that, working with special agents in Hawaii, we were able to uncover this scheme and bring those responsible to justice.” The indictment was the result of collaboration that included Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau attorneys, detectives in the New Jersey State Police Cyber Crimes Unit, and special agents in New Jersey and Hawaii, Division of Criminal Justice Director Veronica Allende said. “Just as we aggressively prosecute those who steal from the State of New Jersey and its taxpayers, we stand ready to investigate and charge those who engage in tax fraud that crosses jurisdictional lines,” Allende said. “Tax fraud is not a victimless crime, and the detectives in our Cyber Crimes Unit will continue to work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners to ensure that these crimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Col. Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “Tax fraud is a serious crime that undermines government and harms hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers everywhere, said state Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio. “It’s reassuring to know that we have outstanding public servants across multiple government agencies who are committed to rooting out this fraud. I want to thank everyone involved in this joint investigation – from the Attorney General’s Office to the State Police to our Division of Taxation and the Hawaii Department of Taxation – for their commitment and collaboration.” Also charged are Jersey City residents Constantine Kunaka, 26; Max Clairsin, 26; Jamal Coar, 29; Jasmire Coar, 27; Chante Darby, 32; Yvette Fountain, 38; Kevin Grant, 48; William Young, 57, and Jermaine Thomas, 46. Valerie Anderson, 54, of East Orange; Karen Bristol-Thomas, 54, of Whitesboro; Gabriel Daravina, 42, of Roselle; Reginald Haines, 50, of Neptune; Destry Harris, 51, of Newark; Joseph Pierce, 48, of New Brunswick, and Yolanda Terry, 43, of Freehold.

Lynda Cohen

BreakingAC founder who previously worked in newspapers for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.




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