A former consultant to Newark city officials is facing charges.

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The Essex County Prosecutor's office says 54-year-old Maritza Torres-Falu, and her husband, 55-year-old Luis A. Velez, were arrested Wednesday and charged with conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering.

Prosecutors say the Newark couple failed to file state tax returns or register their businesses: Latin Eagles Strategy Group LLC; Pepe Printing and Graphics, and L. Velez General Contractor LLC.

The Star-Ledger of Newark reports one of the companies was paid more than $168,000 for printing costs from Mayor Cory Booker's 2010 re-election campaign. Booker has since severed ties with the manager of that campaign.

The newspaper says Torres-Falu once worked as a Newark councilwoman's aide and at city-connected companies. It's not clear if Torres-Falu and Velez have retained lawyers.

 

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