Acting Essex County Prosecutor Carolyn A. Murray announced today that Maritza Torres-Falu, 54, and Luis A. Velez, 55, both of Newark, were arrested this morning and charged with conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering.
The charges arise from their failure to file state tax returns or register three businesses: a consulting company called Latin Eagles Group, LLC; Pepe Printing and Graphics; and L.Velez General Contractor, LLC.
Agents of the State Department of Treasury Office of Criminal Investigation and detectives of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office executed searches warrants on two locations in Newark early this morning.
Torres-Falu was taken into custody at the couples’ home on Clifton Avenue in Newark, one of the locations searched. Velez was arrested at Roche, the pharmaceutical company located in Nutley. He is employed by the company.
A second search warrant was executed at the office where Torres-Falu works on Pulaski Street in Newark.
Torres-Falu and Velez have been charged with failure to file state tax returns for the years 2008 through 2011 for three companies — Latin Eagles Group, LLC; Pepe Printing and Graphics; and L. Velez General Contractor, LLC. They are also charged with filing of fraudulent tax returns, conspiracy and money laundering. Each charge carries up to a five years in New Jersey State Prison.
“We are alleging that these individuals willfully and intentionally concealed substantial income and assets as part of a scheme to defraud the state,’’ said Acting Prosecutor Murray, who declined to discuss the case in greater detail because the arrests today are part of an active and ongoing investigation.
State Treasury Special Agent in Charge Charles Giblin said, “Cooperative investigations are the best method of using law enforcement resources to protect the honest taxpayers of NJ”.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Michael DiPrimio of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office at 973-266-7224.
These are accusations. All defendants are presumed innocent unless or until they plead guilty or are found guilty beyond a reasonable double in a court of law.
Acting Prosecutor Murray lauded the work of Assistant Prosecutor Robert Grady, who is handling the case, along with Agents Debra Lewaine and Kevin Curry of the State Department of Treasury Office of Criminal Investigation, and Lieutenant David Sanabria and Detective Michael DiPrimio of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office.