A Matawan man could spend as much as three years in prison and have to pay a steep fine after illegally fast-tracking real estate and construction paperwork, not reporting his company or income to the IRS, and not paying his taxes for a seven year period.

In an effort to try and cut down on the three years in prison, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced that 65-year-old Thomas Bertoli pleaded guilty to corrupt interference with the administration of Internal Revenue laws -- which also typically carries a maximum $250,000 fine according to Sellinger -- and in doing so he could instead spend only 18-months in prison but still have to pay the IRS $1.17-million in full restitution for not paying his taxes from 2009-2016.

Don Farrall, Getty Images
Don Farrall, Getty Images
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This, Attorney Sellinger explains, is also dependent on the court accepting the terms of the plea deal at sentencing in February.

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What Attorney Sellinger, FBI and the IRS criminal investigators ultimately said they found out was that Bertoli operated a couple of businesses -- The Doormen Inc.; City Street Associates LLC aka CSA LLC, and Urban Logistics LLC (Urban Logistics) -- and people including developers and construction firms paid him to speed up the process on their behalf for real estate development and construction projects in Jersey City, among other areas, and even got allegedly paid by political campaigns for services in New Jersey.

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When an IRS collections officer started looking into why Bertoli wasn't paying his taxes, they paid him a visit in June of 2014, according to Sellinger, and at that point, he owed $195,889 for 2009-2013 while he was operating Urban Logistics and earning most of his money in a company where he was the only employee.

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He told the IRS he was a construction worker for a construction company and never reported his company existed not his income source, and so, he doubled down on his scheming after the IRS interview until November of 2015 when the agency started simultaneously cracking down on his overdue payments including requiring that he make his 2014 tax payments and applying levies, according to Sellinger.

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Getty Images/iStockphoto
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"Bertoli admitted that, by his concealment of the existence of Urban Logistics from the IRS, he acted knowingly and corruptly, that is, with the purpose to obtain an unlawful benefit for himself by obstructing and impeding the collections activity of the IRS."

U.S. Attorney Sellinger said that in this case, the government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh, Deputy Chief of the Special Prosecutions Division, and Assistant U.S. Attorney J Fortier Imbert of the Special Prosecutions Division and the Defense counsel is Jack Arseneault Esq., and Gregory Jones Esq., Chatham, New Jersey.

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