- Associated Press - Monday, July 7, 2014

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a southern New Jersey accountant stole nearly $1 million from her clients’ tax refunds and social security benefits.

Doreen Gentile of Toms River was arrested Monday and charged with 14 counts of mail fraud, nine counts of forging endorsements on federal treasury checks, and two counts each of aggravated identity theft and filing false income tax returns.

The 59-year-old Gentile was due in court Monday afternoon. She faces several decades in prison if convicted on all counts.

Prosecutors say Gentile would show clients tax returns that indicated they had no tax or refund due, owed a small amount of tax or were due a refund that was far less then what they were entitled.

She then allegedly prepared a second set of returns, signed without her clients’ permission, that she submitted to the IRS for the full refund.

Gentile also told clients to make payments to the IRS to pay for various tax liabilities, prosecutors said. After the payments were made, Gentile applied for refunds without the victims’ knowledge and had the checks mailed to her.

Prosecutors also claim Gentile failed to inform the Social Security Administration that one of her clients died in September 2005, then embezzled funds from the person’s bank account. She then allegedly used the money for personal expenses at clothing and jewelry stores.

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