YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: An Englewood Cliffs man today admitted using bogus litigation support companies to steal $7.8 million from two law firms where his wife was a partner.
Melvin Feliz, 48, pleaded guilty in federal court in Newark federal court to single counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and tax evasion.
Feliz’s wife, Keila Ravelo, 49, also of Englewood Cliffs, worked at one of the firms from 2005 through October 2010 and the other after that until November 2014.
During that time, the couple “formed two limited liability companies…that purported to provide litigation support for both firms, but in fact provided no actual services,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said this afternoon.
Ravelo approved invoices submitted by her husband, and then both used the proceeds for personal expenses, he said.
Feliz admitted that he failed to report the income on his tax returns, including nearly $2.36 million in illicit profits from 2012 alone.
Scheduling was set for Dec. 14.
Fishman credited law enforcement officers of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Newark Division, and the IRS-Criminal Investigation with the probe leading to today’s plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andrew Kogan, Brian Urbano and Ronnell Wilson; Barbara Ward, Chief of the office’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Unit; and Assistant U.S. Attorney David Foster of the Special Prosecution’s Division in Newark.