The owner of a southern New Jersey architectural and engineering firm has admitted filing fraudulent corporate tax returns.

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Pravin Patel entered guilty pleas on Tuesday. He now faces up to three years in prison when he's sentenced June 4.

Prosecutors say the 67-year-old Toms River resident admitted filing returns between 2005 and 2009 that falsely passed off personal expenses as legitimate business deductions. Among the personal expenses he improperly used to reduce the company's tax liability were $112,650 in payments for renovations to his home and $8,200 in expenses for his personal country club membership and associated fees.

Patel owned and operated Pravin H. Patel Associates for more than 25 years. The firm's primary clients included the Toms River Regional Board of Education and Ocean County College.


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