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Hoboken Woman Sentenced to Five Years for Defrauding Over $1.5 Million from Local Non-Profits and Schools



Yezenia Castillo, a 47-year-old Hoboken resident, has been sentenced to a five-year prison term for a sophisticated fraud scheme. Over nearly a decade, Castillo swindled over $1.5 million from more than 100 victims, predominantly targeting non-profits, private schools, and religious organizations across New Jersey.

Castillo, masquerading as a certified public accountant (CPA), promised various financial and accounting services to her clients. However, it was revealed that not only was she not a CPA, but she also failed to deliver any of the promised services.

Her method of operation involved collecting fees for non-existent services, unauthorized transfers of client funds to her own accounts, and deceitfully claiming to handle tax payments which she never made. To maintain the charade, Castillo provided fake receipts and assurances to her victims, falsely stating that their taxes were filed and paid.

In addition to her prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton ordered Castillo to three years of supervised release and mandated restitution and forfeiture amounts totaling $3.25 million each. This sentence reflects the seriousness of Castillo’s offenses and the substantial harm inflicted on her victims.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger, acknowledging the collaborative investigation, credited the outcome to the hard work and dedication the FBI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of the Inspector General, and IRS.