NEWARK – A Monmouth County pharmacist could be getting up to five years in prison for cashing millions of dollars’ worth of pharmacy checks to avoid paying income taxes, according to US Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Ajay Barthwal, 43, of Morganville pleaded guilty on March 5 to charges of conspiracy to commit tax evasion on income from Old Bridge Drugs & Surgicals (OBDS). Barthwal failed to report his total accurate income on tax returns filed between 2009 and 2011.
According to the case presented in federal court, Barthwal and his wife claimed to each own 50 percent of the pharmacy, when in reality, he was one-third owner alongside Dilip Naik and Bhavesh Mistry. Naik and Mistry were “silent partners” of OBDS and have also previously pleaded guilty to similar tax crimes.
OBDS was required to file an IRS Form 1065 US Partnership Income Tax Return; each partner also had to complete Individual Income Tax Return IRS Forms 1040. Income from the partnership business would also be shown on the individual returns.
The US Attorney’s Office noted that, as owners of OBDS, Barthwal, Naik and Mistry each were responsible for accurately reporting to the IRS their business income and respective personal incomes.
However, between January 1, 2009 and November 5, 2012, the three partners agreed to hide $9,343,234 of taxable revenue from OBDS by under-reporting the gross receipts of the pharmacy on IRS tax returns from 2009-2011.
From January 2009, Barthwal and Naik began cashing business receipts at a check cashier in Jersey City. They would then deposit only some of the money from the receipts in the OBDS operating account and the other portion of the receipts not deposited would be split between Barthwal, Naik and Mistry.
These un-deposited funds were hidden from the IRS. Barthwal admitted that he and the other two men kept $4,114,102 in taxes due to the IRS.
Barthwal was charged with conspiracy to commit tax evasion, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss caused by the offense, whichever is greater.
Barthwal’s sentencing is scheduled for July 7, 2019.