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Former TR Regional Schools Engineer Confesses to Tax Fraud

The former engineer and architect for the Toms River Regional School District pleads guilty to filing fraudulent corporate tax returns on behalf of his firm in a Newark Federal courtroom today. According to the Asbury Park Press, 67-year-old Pravin Patel admitted he filed corporate tax returns for Pravin H. Patel Associates Inc. that falsely passed off personal expenses as legitimate business deductions from 2005 to 2009.

According to U. S. Attorney Paul Fishman, the expenses included $112,650 for renovations to his home, $8,200 for his personal country club membership and numerous other expenses paid through a corporate credit card.

Patel was in charge of engineering, architecture and planning for a number of multimillion, voter-approved projects for the school district. At the same time, he also did design work for jailed former School Superintendent Mike Ritacco’s private construction company, MJ Rit.

In pleading guilty to one county of filing a false corporate tax return, Patel faces a three year prison term and maximum $250-thousand dollar fine when he’s sentenced in June.

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