- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 25, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - State authorities say a New Jersey doctor took part in a scheme that used more than two dozen “phantom employees” to help him launder $3.6 million in earnings and avoid paying taxes.

Manoj Patharkar, who has practices in Edison and Passaic, and an alleged co-conspirator, 51-year-old Mohammed Shamshair, of Sayreville, face numerous charges in an indictment handed up Monday by a state grand jury. It was made public Tuesday after they were arrested.

The charges they face include conspiracy, money laundering, theft by deception, tax fraud, and records tampering. Bail was set at $200,000 cash for each man, and it wasn’t known if either one had retained an attorney.

Authorities say Patharkar, a 44-year-old Laurence Harbor resident, cheated the state out of $327,000 in taxes by creating about 28 “phantom employees.” He allegedly used names, social security numbers and other identifying information that he obtained from an accountant who was promised a share of the money.

Patharkar also allegedly issued at least 1,574 checks totaling nearly $2.2 million, which were made payable to the phantom employees to make the scheme appear legitimate, authorities said.

The doctor also allegedly received about 4,310 checks totaling nearly $1.4 million from various companies and persons for medical services he claimed he had provided. He pocketed the money and never paid taxes on it, authorities said

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