A New Jersey CPA and lawyer has been sentenced to 27 months in prison for conspiring with a mortgage broker to extort and defraud police officers and other victims by falsely claiming they were the subjects of Internal Revenue Service criminal investigations that he could resolve if they paid up to $20,000.

Thomas G. Frey, 55, of Edison, N.J., had previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano to two counts of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to commit extortion under fear of economic harm and to commit wire fraud. The sentence was imposed Monday by U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson in Trenton federal court.

Frey, along with Robert G. Cusic Jr., a mortgage broker from Millstone, N.J., and another conspirator (named “CC-1” in the indictment) schemed to defraud four victims, including two police officers, by falsely representing to them that they were the subjects of criminal investigations, principally by the IRS, in connection with investment properties that some of them owned. Frey and Cusic falsely represented that while Cusic was at a property formerly owned by one of the victims, Cusic encountered two IRS special agents (referred to as SA-1 and SA-2 in the undictment) who questioned him extensively about some of the victims.

Frey falsely told the victims he had ongoing communications with SA-1 about the purported investigation and had a special relationship with SA-1. Frey told the victims if they paid up to $20,000 each, he would call SA-1 and have the investigation converted from a criminal tax investigation to an IRS “desk audit,” a civil matter. Frey and CC-1 falsely stated that if the victims did not retain his services and pay the fee, the investigation would likely result in the arrest of certain of the victims.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Thompson sentenced Frey to three years of supervised release; 300 hours of community service and fined him $25,000. He was also ordered to repay the Criminal Justice Act funds expended on his behalf.

Frey was previously charged by complaint on April 8, 2011, along with Cusic, with one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and one count of wire fraud. Cusic pleaded guilty Nov. 28, 2011, to conspiring with Frey to extort the victims. He is awaiting sentencing.

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