Mayor of Wildwood admits assisting in preparation of fraudulent tax returns


Date: March 24, 2023


Camden, NJ — The mayor of Wildwood, New Jersey, today admitted that he aided and assisted in the preparation and presentation of false and fraudulent tax returns, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Peter J. Byron of Wildwood, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Karen M. Williams in Camden federal court to an information charging him with two counts of willfully aiding and assisting in the preparation and presentation of fraudulent tax returns to the IRS for calendar years 2017 and 2018.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2017 through December 2018, Byron served as a commissioner for the city of Wildwood, in charge of the Revenue and Finance departments. From June through August of 2017, Byron sent multiple emails to the managing partner of a law firm located in Gloucester County, seeking assistance in obtaining a job. Byron received a letter in October 2017 on the letterhead of the managing partner's law firm which purported to set forth an employment offer to Byron from a company. According to the terms of the October 2017 letter, Byron was to receive an annual salary from the company for working as a salesman.

From October 2017 through September 2018, Byron received $40,425 in payments from the company. He did not report this income on his tax returns for calendar years 2017 and 2018, resulting in a tax loss to the I.R.S.

The tax charges each carry a maximum potential sentence of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 2, 2023.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited the FBI Atlantic City Public Corruption Task Force which includes the agencies the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office, and New Jersey State Police, under the direction of FBI Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark; and special agents of IRS - Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy L. Tomlins, with the investigation leading to today's guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas S. Kearney of the U.S. Attorney's Office Special Prosecutions Division in Newark.