Toms River businessman charged with theft, tax fraud
A Toms River man who allegedly used proprietary data from three energy brokerage companies to set up his own business, ran up thousands in unauthorized credit card transactions, and shorted state tax collectors, awaits a possible trial in Ocean County.
Patrick A. Trushell II, 38, was indicted Wednesday on four second- and third-degree theft by deception, credit card theft and ID theft charges, according to the office of County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato.
Trushell and his spouse, Jenna, were indicted for failure to pay state income taxes from 2013 through 2015, filing a false state return in 2014, and skipping more than $13,000 due the government.
Investigators in the Economic Crimes Unit allege that Trushell became an employee of three energy brokerage firms in different states, all stipulating exclusivity of service and no employment with competitors.
Legacy Energy Group, LLC, Ketex Energy, LLC, and Connexture Energy, LLC, each paid him salary, unaware of multiple jobs, and allowed him to set up a home office, authorities said.
Trushell allegedly used proprietary leads and customer data to support his own business, or those of competitors.
Detectives also believe that Trushell's connection to a Delaware business associate allowed him to open two American Express accounts under the identity of Barrett Kidner, charging transactions in excess of $23,000 in New Jersey and at least a half-dozen other stastes.
A joint investigation with the New Jersey Division of State Taxation led to the tax fraud charges.
Brushell is represented by Toms River attorney Brad Billheimer.
The county probe continues under the direction of Sergeant Mark Malinowski at the Prosecutor's Office, who can be reached at 732-929-2027, extension 4032.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.