April 24, 2021

N.J. business owner sentenced to 19 months for dodging $1M in payroll taxes

A Monmouth County man who pleaded guilty to defrauding the government out of nearly $1…

A Monmouth County man who pleaded guilty to defrauding the government out of nearly $1 million in taxes has been sentenced to 19 months in prison.

Bilal Salaj, 56, of Marlboro Township, pleaded guilty last year to tax evasion, failure to pay payroll taxes and conspiracy, according to Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Salaj operated a construction business in Manhattan and placed the company in the name of a person who worked for him, investigators have said.

From 2014 to June 2019, Salaj ordered the unnamed third party to cash about $3.2 million in business checks and he used the money to pay cash wages to his employees, spending the rest on personal expenses, according to prosecutors.

“Salaj failed to pay his tax obligations to the IRS and maintained a cash payroll for his business while cheating the government out of almost $1 million,” Strauss said in a statement.

In addition to prison, Salaj was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $952,778 and to serve three years of supervised released, Strauss said.

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Anthony G. Attrino may be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @TonyAttrino. Find NJ.com on Facebook.