TRENTON, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - Three Jersey City siblings have been sentenced for filing fraudulent applications for 745 Homestead Rebate checks, aiding their father and his business partner in stealing $573,383 from the State of New Jersey.
Attorney General Anne Milgram announced that Amorito "Angelo" A. Amante, 34, and Aloysius M. Amante, 33, were ordered to serve five years in state prison by Superior Court Judge Darlene Pereksta in Mercer County on Sept. 12.
Amorito Amante was also ordered to pay $80,173 in restitution, and Aloysuis Amanate was ordered to pay $40,794. On March 3, both defendants pleaded guilty to theft by deception.
Aristides Amante, 29, was ordered to serve five years probation conditioned on serving 30 days in the sheriff's labor program. He was also ordered to pay $78,000 in restitution. He provided $25,000 of that at the time of sentencing. His sentence was pursuant to his Sept. 10, 2007 guilty plea to theft by deception.
One of the Amantes' three co-defendants, Matilda Amante Ramos, 57, pleaded guilty to theft by deception on June 11 and was ordered to serve five years probation and pay $35,851 in restitution. The Amantes' father, Achilles "Butz" Amante, 56, and another defendant, Paul Sarris, 51, are still pending.
Sarris is incarcerated in Mercer County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail and a bench warrant has been issued for Achilles Amante.
The defendants admitted at their guilty plea hearings that, between Aug. 2001-Sept. 2003, they allegedly filed 745 false Homestead Rebate applications with the State of New Jersey.
Multiple applications for each of 15 residential and commercial addresses they rented in New Jersey were filed using names and Social Security numbers obtained from tax perpetration clients, without the permission of the clients, taken from the financial service companies specializing in tax preparation run by all of the defendants except Matilda Amante Ramos, who ran a travel agency.
The Jersey City Police Department, acting on a tip that numerous Homestead Rebate checks addressed to different names were sent to a Jersey city address rented by Sarris and Achilles Amante, was credited by Attorney General Milgram.
The case was then referred to the New Jersey Division of Taxation's Office of Criminal Investigation. That office's audit identified hundreds of fraudulent rebate applications linked to the defendants, leading to the case being brought to the Division of Criminal Justice.
From there, Deputy Attorney General Denis Grugan represented the Division of Criminal Justice at the guilty pleas and sentencing.