The owner of a southern New Jersey architectural and engineering firm who filed fraudulent corporate tax returns has been sentenced to three months in prison.

Brand X Pictures, Getty Images

Pravin Patel also must serve three months house arrest under the sentence imposed Wednesday.

The 67-year-old Toms River resident pleaded guilty in February, admitting he filed 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.

 

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)