Her partner in her consulting firm has also pleaded guilty to tax charges, as well as wire fraud.

Linda Jumah, a political consultant and close friend of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, was sentenced to three years’ probation Wednesday by a federal judge who cautioned her to stay on the straight and narrow.

Under a plea agreement negotiated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jumah in November admitted she cheated the government of out $40,000 in taxes by underreporting money she earned from her consulting and fundraising business.

Jumah was president of Elite Strategies, LLC which was contracted by the city of Newark and the Newark Community Economic Development Corporation (NCEDC) — the city’s redevelopment arm.

Her partner and chief executive officer of the firm, Kiburi Tucker, later also pleaded guilty to underreporting his income and embezzling money from The Centre, Inc., a nonprofit he ran. Tucker will be sentenced next month.

Chief U.S. District Judge Jose Linares said he would order a portion of Jumah’s probation be served under home confinement, and fined her $20,000, to be repaid after she makes full restitution.

Linares said that while the charge to which Jumah pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential sentence of five years in prison, federal sentencing guidelines recommended options of six to 12 months of incarceration, probation and/or home confinement.

Most recently, Jumah worked as a manager for Jersey City’s Department of Health and Human Services. She was hired in November 2016 and earned $75,000. After Jumah pleaded guilty to tax evasion, Jersey City suspended her without pay; she no longer works with the city, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Jumah also helped organize Newark’s Afro Beat Fest last July that Baraka resurrected and renamed. It was previously named “Africa Newark” but the annual event stopped in 2006 after it lost city support.

City contracts

Jumah’s company, Elite Strategies, was involved with several Newark entities, providing services to the city, Baraka’s campaign and the quasi-governmental agency responsible for city redevelopment.

The NCEDC hired Elite Strategies in 2014 for $111,500, according to a contract obtained through a public records request. The work included $48,000 to create a media strategy and plan, $10,000 for publication strategies and $14,000 for website recommended enhancements. Payments typically ranged from $200-$250 an hour, according to the contract.

The contract was signed by the NCEDC’s former president, Otis Rolley who was ousted in 2016 …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real-Time News


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Mayor’s friend gets slap on the wrist in tax fraud scheme

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