The Department of Justice has charged a long time Hudson County politico with tax evasion, according to an announcement by U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Thomas Bertoli, 62, of Matawan, has been charged with two counts of tax evasion, one count of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and one count of failure to file a tax return.
A summons was issued for Bertoli to appear before a United States Magistrate Judge at a time to be scheduled.
Bertoli was at one time a political aide to Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.
According to the complaint, Bertoli operated several businesses, including The Doormen Inc.; City Street Associates LLC, a/k/a CSA LLC; and Urban Logistics LLC.
Individually and through his companies, Bertoli obtained payments from clients for services provided, including payments from developers and construction firms for expediting services on real estate development and construction projects, primarily in Jersey City, as well as payments from political campaigns for political consulting services in New Jersey.
Expediting in the construction industry typically refers to facilitating the acquisition of building permits and other government agency approvals required for the completion of real estate projects.
The government alleges that Bertoli obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in gross receipts from 2009 to 2016, but as of April 18, 2017, he had not filed federal tax returns or paid any of the taxes due other than a $5,000 nominal payment for those years in September 2014 .
He allegedly concealed and attempted to conceal from the IRS his income and assets through various means, including cashing payments from his clients at check cashers, making false and fraudulent statements to the IRS, and using the Urban Logistics bank account for personal expenditures.
“From at least in or about April 2014 to December 2016, defendant Bertoli transferred over a million dollars from the Urban Logistics bank account to his personal bank account to fund payments for personal expenses, including, among others, payments to his spouse and payments for real estate, the mortgage on his Matawan residence, travel expenses, a family member’s hair salon business, educational expenses for another family member, vehicles, and political donations,” said Kenneth K. Long, a Special Agent with the IRS in the criminal complaint.
“Typically, defendant Bertoli moved money from the Urban Logistics account into his personal account and thereafter made payments for personal expenses from his personal bank account, and did not leave high balances in the personal bank account for any extended period of time.”
Contributions to Hudson County politicians
According to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, Bertoli and his companies made several contributions to Hudson County Politicians.
In 2009 he contributed $500 to the election campaign of Thomas DeGise for Hudson County Executive, $500 to the election campaign of Mark Smith for mayor of Bayonne, $500 to Kenny Philip for municipal office in Jersey City,
In 2013, Urban Logistics made political contributions totaling $11,400 to various Hudson County political figures, including, in the words of the complaint, “Lavarro, Osborne, Gajewski, Ramchal, Watterman, Rivera, Coleman, Connors, & Lopez Team Fulop Jersey City Council.”
In 2014 Urban Logistics contributed $1,000 to “Roque, Rodriguez, Cirillo & Colacurcio (Vargas) Team Roque” in West New York.
In 2016 he contributed $500 to the campaign of Vincent Prieto for State Assembly.
He also donated to several political campaigns outside of Hudson County.
Bertoli is charged with tax evasion for calendar years 2009 to 2013 and evasion of assessment of taxes for calendar year 2014. He is also charged with corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws and failing to file a tax return for calendar year 2013.
Each charge of tax evasion carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The charge of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The charge of failing to file a tax return carries a maximum potential penalty of one year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Laura J. Perry and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Douglas Korneski in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys J Fortier Imbert and Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Division.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are accusations, and Bertoli is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.