A Cedar Grove man was sentenced today to six months in prison and half a year of home confinement for his involvement in a tax fraud scheme, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Joseph Belasco was also sentenced to two years of supervised released, ordered to pay $1 million in restitution to the Pepsi Bottling Group, and fined $30,000, according to the release. The sentence was imposed by Judge Jose Linares Tuesday, July 29 at Newark Federal Court.
The 65-year-old was a chief financial officer for Culinary Ventures Vending and the creator of Impact Cause Related Marketing, according to an indictment. Both vending companies were responsible for the installation and stocking of vending machines, according to previous reports. Impact Cause Related Marketing was contracted to help Pepsi Bottling Company acquire new customers through leads, the indictment indicated. In return for these leads, Belasco would accept a commission when customers bought Pepsi products, previous reports indicate.
Belasco worked with a PepsiCo employee Edwin Glasspool to accumulate referrals under his name, according to the indictment. Glasspool would take the names of existing customers along with a list of new customers he generated as an employee, and assign them all to Belasco’s list, the indictment indicated. For this deed, Belasco issued $1.1 million in checks to Glasspool and his wife, Janice Bachman, through Impact Cause Related Marketing, the indictment stated.
The scheme took place between 1998 to 2008, earning Belasco approximately $2.9 million in commissions and rebates, according to the indictment.
Tuesday’s sentence was imposed following Belasco’s previous guilty plea for providing a false IRS form to Bachman for services that were never performed, according to the release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Belasco was originally charged in 2012 with five counts of mail fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and one count of money laundering, according to his indictment.
However, those charges will be dismissed, according to Matthew Reilly, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.