William Kawam, 57, of Hewitt, pleaded guilty by videoconference last week, June 30, before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo on the charges of “subscribing to false tax returns” and “conspiracy to defraud the United States,” U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced. Kawam was employed as a certified public accountant in northern New Jersey.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, in 2015, Kawam and someone described only as “a conspirator” undertook a scheme to conceal certain money from the IRS. The conspirator compensated Kawam for a portion of his accounting services by providing him with a credit card belonging to one of the conspirator’s businesses that Kawam could use for personal expenses. Kawam then reportedly failed to report the charges as income, and the conspirator failed to report the charges as business expenses.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Kawam failed to report $146,605 for tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017, resulting in a tax loss of approximately $54,400.
The count of “subscribing to false tax returns” to which Kawam pleaded guilty carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine; the “conspiracy to defraud the United States” count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 21, 2022.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS’s Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins, and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Terence Reilly in Newark, with the investigation leading to Kawam’s guilty plea.
The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Shawn Barnes of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Unit, in Newark.