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Indictment says Englewood Cliffs woman conned firms out of $7.8M

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman Photo Credit: Jerry DeMarco

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. -- An Englewood Cliffs woman bilked two law firms where she was a partner of $7.8 million, then ducked taxes on the money, a federal grand jury indictment returned in Newark on Thursday charges.

The indictment charges Keila Ravelo, 50, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and tax evasion.

Ravelo's husband, Melvin Feliz, 49, took a plea deal and admitted in August that he used bogus litigation support companies to steal the money with his wife.

Ravelo 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.

Ravelo approved invoices submitted by her husband, and then both used the proceeds for personal expenses, he said.

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.

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