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Toms River Lawyer Given Six Months Behind Bars

Attorney Lee Gottesman, 58, of Toms River, was sentenced today to six months in prison and six months of home confinement for skipping federal income tax payments and pocketing payroll taxes withheld from wages of workers in his firm.

The sentence issued in Trenton, which follows Gottesman’s previous guilty plea, also requires him to spend three years in supervised release and pay the government $27,384.99, representing taxes owed from 2006 until now.

According to information from the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, Gottesman admitted hiding money in an attorney trust account held in his wife’s name when he was already in debt to the Internal Revenue Service. IRS had placed a levy on Gottesman’s assets in 2002 for unpaid taxes, officials said.

The lawyer admitted to evading personal income taxes in 2006 and payroll taxes in 2009, officials said.

The trust account allowed Gottesman to pay for most of his personal and business expenses while avoiding personal income tax liabilities, prosecutors said. They counted more than $107,000 in mortgage, home improvement, life insurance, auto body repair and credit card costs.

Gottesman also withheld payroll and other taxes from employee wages but never turned in either the money or the documentation, prosecutors said.

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