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Tax Preparer from East Orange, Her Husband and 22 NJ Residents Indicted in Tax Fraud Scheme in Which They Stole Nearly $250K

New Jersey

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today announced the indictment of 24 New Jersey residents – including a tax preparer, her husband, and relatives and friends of the couple – on charges that they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars by filing fraudulent tax returns with the State of Hawaii in order to obtain refunds.  They allegedly attempted to steal over $400,000, but because some of the filings were denied, the actual loss to the State of Hawaii was $246,667.


The defendants were indicted in “Operation Coast to Coast,” a joint investigation by the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey State Police Cyber Crimes Unit, New Jersey Division of Taxation-Office of Criminal Investigation, and State of Hawaii Department of Taxation.  The investigation began with a referral from the Hawaii Department of Taxation, which identified a number of New Jersey residents who fraudulently obtained tax refunds.


Officials say the alleged leader of the scheme, Mylove D. Tetterton, 44, of East Orange, was charged in the indictment with promoting organized street crime, a first-degree crime that carries a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison.  She owns and operates a tax preparation service in Jersey City called Mylove’s Tax Service. 

According to authorities, Tetterton allegedly filed 65 fraudulent Hawaii tax returns for tax year 2013 for individuals who never resided in or earned wages in Hawaii.  She allegedly used personal identifying information that was obtained from co-conspirators or stolen, including personal identifying information of people who were deceased. Tetterton allegedly used much of the stolen money to gamble in Atlantic City.


Officials say Tetterton allegedly had the refund checks sent to addresses associated with her or her co-conspirators.  It is alleged that she cashed only a few checks herself, but directed her co-conspirators to cash or deposit the checks and turn over a large share of the money to her.  Her husband, Anthony Hodges, 43, of East Orange, allegedly assisted in leading the scheme, acting as her “money man” and collecting proceeds of the refund checks from the other co-conspirators. 

Several relatives of the couple also are charged, including Hodges’s sister Rosetta Hodges, 36, and three children of Tetterton: daughter Mylove A. Tetterton, 26, son Khyreq Tetterton, 25, and adopted son, Kaseem Stephens, 25.


The state grand jury indictment, which was secured yesterday by the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau, charges all 24 defendants with second-degree counts of conspiracy, trafficking in personal identifying information of another, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, and money laundering.  All defendants also are charged with third-degree forgery.


“Tetterton fraudulently filed more than 60 tax returns by using the identities of other people, some of whom were deceased,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Acting Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.  “Tax fraud is not a victimless crime, and the detectives in our Cyber Crimes Unit will continue to work collaboratively with our law enforcement partners to ensure that these crimes are thoroughly investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”  


First-degree crimes carry a sentence of 10 to 20 years in state prison and a fine of up to $200,000, while second-degree crimes carry a sentence of five to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.  Third-degree crimes carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.


The indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.


The following is a full list of the defendants charged in the indictment:


Mylove D. Tetterton, 44, of East Orange

Anthony Hodges, 43, of East Orange

Constantine Kunaka, 26, of Jersey City

Jean Allen, 47, of Egg Harbor Township

Valerie Anderson, 54, of East Orange

Karen Bristol-Thomas, 54, of Whitesboro

Max Clairsin, 26, of Jersey City

Jamal Coar, 29, of Jersey City

Jasmire Coar, 27, of Jersey City

Gabriel Daravina, 42, of Roselle

Chante Darby, 32, of Jersey City

Yvette Fountain, 38, of Jersey City

Kevin Grant, 48, of Jersey City

Reginald Haines, 50, of Neptune

Destry Harris, 51, of Newark

Rosetta Hodges, 36, of Neptune

Joseph Pierce, 48, of New Brunswick

Yolanda Terry, 43, of Freehold

Mylove A. Tetterton, 26, of East Orange

Kaseem Stephens, 25, of East Orange

Khyreq Tetterton, 25, of East Orange

Jermaine Thomas, 46, of Jersey City

William Young, 57, of Jersey City

D’Jenne Zulu, 24, Egg Harbor Township