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August 01, 2023

Wildwood mayor Pete Byron could face three years in prison for tax fraud

Byron pleaded guilty in March to two charges related to faulty tax returns he filed while he was a city commissioner. He will be sentenced Wednesday

Courts Tax Fraud
Wildwood, New Jersey THOM CARROLL/for PhillyVoice

Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron will be sentenced on Wednesday on federal tax fraud charges that he pleaded guilty to in March. He could face a $250,000 fine and up to three years in prison.

The mayor of a popular Jersey shore destination could soon find himself in prison. Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron will appear before a U.S. District Court judge in Camden on Wednesday to be sentenced for filing fraudulent tax returns in 2017 and 2018.

Byron pleaded guilty in March to two charges related to the bogus tax filings, in which authorities said he failed to disclose $40,425 in income made from a second sales job with a consulting firm.

As a result, Byron now faces the possibility of being fined $250,000 or imprisoned for up to three years, according to the Press of Atlantic City.

In 2011, Byron, who is originally from Northeast Philadelphia, joined the Wildwood Board of Commissioners, on which he was serving at the time of his tax transgressions. He was sworn in as Wildwood's mayor in 2020 after being elected the year before.

Byron is no stranger to legal difficulties. Earlier this year, the 67-year-old public official was indicted along with two other Wildwood officials for participating in a state health care benefits program in which they were not legally entitled to enroll. Those criminal charges, which included theft and tampering with records, were later dismissed by a superior court judge. The state Attorney General’s office indicated at the time that the dismissal was due to a technicality and that charges may be refiled in that case.

For now, Byron has plenty to contend with from a legal standpoint. U.S. District Court Judge Karen M. Williams will decide on Wednesday what consequences the mayor will face for committing tax fraud.