Fake NJ accountant admits stealing $1.5M from victims, many of them nonprofits
🏛 NJ woman admits to scamming over 100 victims out of $1.5M as fake accountant
🏛 As phony CPA, the Hoboken woman lied about paying taxes for some clients
🏛 The scheme spanned nearly a decade, targeting nonprofits, schools and religious institutions
A Hudson County woman has admitted to posing as an accountant in order to steal more than $1.5 million from over 100 victims — most of them nonprofits, private schools and religious institutions, U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger announced.
Yezenia Castillo, of Hoboken, pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to wire fraud and tax evasion.
For nearly a decade ending in 2021, the 46-year-old Castillo pretended to be a certified public accountant in order to rip off her victims, according to federal prosecutors.
As phony CPA, Castillo lied about paying taxes for some NJ clients
Castillo, who also went by Yezenia Maldonado, cheated clients out of their money by collecting phony fees and transferring client funds to herself without authorization, Sellinger said.
Businesses she operated included Y. Castillo, P.C., or “YCPC” and “Hudson Accounting Services.”
She also kept about 29 separate bank accounts across the state.
In some cases, Castillo collected funds from clients by lying about using it to pay their taxes, but she instead pocketed the cash.
She then created fake receipts, to make it seem as though taxes had been paid.
After pleading guilty, fake NJ accountant faces up to 20 years in prison
Castillo was initially arrested in March 2020, accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from one non-profit affordable housing corporation in Englewood.
She could face up to 20 years in prison and a hefty fine on the charge of wire fraud, alone, when sentenced on Aug. 7.