Middlesex County Man Charged with Defrauding the United States by Filing False Claims

A Middlesex County man was arrested today for his role in a scheme to defraud the IRS by making false claims for income tax refunds and conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

According to officials, Luis Crespo, 42, of Sayreville is scheduled to appear by this afternoon in connection with an indictment, unsealed today, that charges Crespo with conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to claims and with filing false, fictitious and fraudulent claims.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Crespo was allegedly part of a conspiracy led by Michael Watsey, who orchestrated a scheme to file false claims or cause the filing of false claims, namely the filing of 16 false tax returns in the years 2014 through 2017.

Watsey created false Forms W2-G, which showed significant gambling winnings and federal tax withheld. Participants in this scheme were Watsey, his family members, Crespo and other associates.

Watsey filed or caused the filing of 16 false tax returns with false Forms W2-G, requesting a total of $3.9 million in false federal tax refunds with a total of $1.29 million actually being received. Crespo used false Forms W2-G created by Watsey in the filing of his 2016 and 2017 false tax returns.

Those returns requested a total of $508,787 in false federal tax refunds with a total of $510,668 actually being paid by the IRS.

Watsey pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 15.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.