The two lawyers representing longtime Hudson County political fixer and operative Tom Bertoli are speaking out in light of tax charges brought against him by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, indicating that he didn’t evade taxes or interfere with IRS law.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“Mr. Bertoli has been candid, truthful and forthcoming with federal authorities concerning his tax liabilities since he first learned of this investigation three years ago in June 2017,” Jack Arseneault and Greg Jones, both of Chatham-based law firm Arseneault & Fassett, LLP, said in a joint statement.
“Following the Great Recession in 2009, he struggled, as countless others struggled, to support his family. Today, however, he has filed all returns for all years and has been slowly paying his back taxes owed, as well as interest and penalties. He strenuously denies that any of his actions were done with the intent to evade the assessment of any tax or to interfere with the administration of IRS laws.”
Yesterday, Bertoli, 62, was charged by complaint with two counts of tax evasion, one count of corrupt interference with the administration of the Internal Revenue laws, and one count of failure to file a tax return.
â€œ[Bertoliâ€™s] bank records which I have reviewed, show that at least in or about April 2014 to in or about December 2016, [Bertoli] also used the Urban Logistics bank account to pay various personal expenses,â€ according to Kenneth K. Long, a special agent for criminal investigation for the IRS â€“ who signed the criminal complaint.
â€ â€¦ I have learned that [Bertoli] deposited payments for his expediting services to his Urban Logistics bank account and paid for personal expenditures directly from that account, including, among others, payments to his spouse and payments for real estate, home improvements, travel expenses, a family memberâ€™s hair salon business, and political donations.â€
During this time frame, Bertoli is also accused of transferring over a million dollars from Urban Logistics to his personal bank account.
Through his company, Bertoli gave contributed to candidates in places such as Newark, West New York, and Jersey City and is largely credited with being the top consultant on then-Councilman Steven Fulop’s successful 2013 campaign to unseat Mayor Jerramiah Healy.
Bertoli also helped Fulop get elected to the city council in 2005.
If convicted on all four charges, Bertoli faces a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison and $850,000 in fines.