Two New Jersey men have been sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to file false tax returns from their Upper Darby tax preparation business.

Omar Faruq, 37, and Omar Ali, 36, both of Pennsauken, were sentenced to 24 months and 18 months in prison, respectively, by U.S. District Court Judge Nitza I. Quiñones Wednesday. Faruq was also ordered to pay $688,362 and Ali was ordered to pay $573,322 in restitution to the United States Department of Treasury. Both also received three years of supervised release.

Faruq and Ali pleaded guilty in June 2019 to filing false tax returns on behalf of their clients at Omar Consultancy Inc., which had offices in Upper Darby and New Jersey.

According to the plea memorandum, the defendants artificially increased refunds on their clients’ returns without their knowledge between 2013 and 2015 by falsifying and inflating deductions and credits to which the clients were not entitled, then pocketed a portion of the fraudulent refunds for themselves.

Faruq and Ali also both pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return for themselves and their respective spouses for the 2014 tax year. Faruq and Ali omitted gross receipts from their tax preparation business on the 2014 returns and failed to report diverted funds from their clients as income on their personal returns.

“These defendants – professional tax preparers – committed fraud and stole from the United States government while duping their clients,” said U.S. Attorney William McSwain in a release. “The defendants also stole from the pockets of all taxpayers who do the right thing every April and pay their fair share of taxes. With tax season approaching, these sentencings serve as a warning for anyone considering this type of fraud.”

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