A former New Jersey State Police trooper was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison Friday for conspiring to defraud the IRS, falsifying his tax returns and witness tampering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton sentenced Samuel Davis Jr., 54, of Plainfield, after he pleaded guilty to the crimes in March. The judge also ordered Davis pay $71,558 in restitution to the IRS and fined him $10,000, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
During the latter part of his 28-year-career as a New Jersey State Police trooper, Davis and a co-conspirator, Kyna Felder-Ruiz, a former Plainfield firefighter, owned and operated Get Organized Tax & Accounting, a tax preparation business. Authorities said from tax years 2011 to 2016, the company prepared false individual income tax returns for various clients. Davis retired from the State Police as a detective sergeant in 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In order to obtain refunds for their clients in amounts substantially greater than those to which the taxpayers were entitled, authorities said, they falsely claimed deductions, fabricated educational credits and submitted fake receipts.
From tax years 2012 to 2014, Davis also filed false personal income tax returns by underreporting business income from his tax preparation business, defrauding the IRS of tens of thousands of dollars in taxes, authorities said.
And when federal authorities began investigating Davis and subpoenaed his son in 2018, Davis attempted to coerce his son into giving false testimony in front of a grand jury.
Felder-Ruiz, Davis’ partner, previously pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 31 for her role in the scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Davis’ attorney, Thomas Ashley, said his client was a community leader who helped “many, many” people for a number of years, but ultimately made a mistake.
“Mr. Davis was a pillar of his community,” Ashley said. … “It’s a sad day.”
Davis and Felder-Ruiz also owned the Jersey Flight, a Trenton-based arena football team. Around the time the two pleaded guilty in March, the team announced it it would play under different ownership for the 2019 season.
Have a tip? Tell us. nj.com/tips
Get the latest updates right in your inbox. Subscribe to NJ.com’s newsletters.