- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A northern New Jersey man who used the identification of a deceased tax preparer to fill out fraudulent tax returns has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Essex County resident Todd Halpern also must pay $1.3 million in restitution under the sentence imposed Wednesday. He also forfeited $373,938 and a classic 1957 Chevy Bel Air, which they say constituted the proceeds that Halpern obtained as a result of his frauds,

Halpern had pleaded guilty to filing false claims and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Halpern prepared and electronically filed 657 fraudulent federal income tax returns from 2009 through 2010. He allegedly used the identification number of a dead tax return preparer from A & V Financial of Guttenberg, a business that Halpern purchased in 2008.

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