Tax Preparation

Tax Advisory Agency Proprietor and Spouse plead responsible to tens of millions of COVID-19-related fraud and tax fraud | USAO-NDGA

ATLANTA – Husband and wife Tiyari Collins and Farah Collins plead guilty of defrauding the US Small Business Administration (“SBA”) by taking approximately $ 1.9 million in fraudulent Paycheck Protection loans Program (“PPP”) and the Economic Impact Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program. Tiyari Collins, who owned and ran Collins Financial Services Group, a tax preparation company based in metropolitan Atlanta, also pleaded guilty to filing thousands of fraudulent tax returns that resulted in a loss of at least $ 3.8 million to the IRS Had a consequence.

“The fraud here is outrageous,” said US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Tiyrai Collins betrayed the federal government amid an historic pandemic. It is ruthless that he and his wife stole from government programs designed to support small businesses and their employees struggling due to the COVD-19 pandemic.

“These guilty guilty admissions are a victory for American taxpayers,” said James E. Dorsey. “It is unfortunate that criminals continue to misuse the funds made available to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. IRS-CI will continue to use our financial expertise to detect fraud, track down the funds and bring the criminals to justice. “

“The Collins family has been greedily filling their pockets with stolen government funds intended to provide relief to small businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Chris Hacker, FBI Atlanta special agent. “Your actions affect every citizen who pays taxes, especially those in need of help most. The FBI will make every effort to ensure that federal funds are used as intended. “

According to US Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court are: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) is federal law passed on March 29, 2020. It aims to provide emergency financial aid to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief from the CARES bill was approval of up to $ 349 billion. In April 2020, Congress approved over $ 300 billion in additional PPP funding. Additional funding was approved by Congress in December 2020.

The PPP enables qualified small businesses and other organizations to obtain loans with a term of two years and an interest rate of one percent. PPP loan proceeds must be used by businesses for labor costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The PPP allows interest and principal waiver if companies spend the proceeds on those expenses within eight weeks of receiving them and use at least 75 percent of the waived amount on payroll.

In addition to the PPP, Congress has also expanded the SBA’s EIDL program to provide low-interest loans of up to $ 2 million to small businesses before or about May 2020 and up to $ 150,000 from or about May 2020. Provide vital economic support to help overcome the loss of revenue small businesses are experiencing due to COVID-19. Applicants seeking a loan under the EIDL program were also allowed to apply for and receive an advance of approximately $ 1,000 per employee for an amount of up to $ 10,000, which the SBA generally provided while the loan application was pending.

Tiyari Collins filed between the 1. Farah Collins was involved in filing four of these fraudulent applications and received approximately $ 365,000 in fraudulently distributed PPP and EIDL funds.

In the fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications, the Collinses misrepresented the company’s average monthly payroll, number of employees, and company revenue, among other things. The Collinses also incorrectly filed tax returns on several of these applications. Tiyari Collins paid another person to create the fraudulent payroll that was submitted as part of the applications. For example, Tiyari Collins has asked this person to prepare a fraudulent payroll report showing that the total annual wages for Collins Financial Services Group, LLC (“CFSG”) are approximately $ 850,000 and staff increases if necessary.

The Collinses owned or controlled the following companies applying for these fraudulent PPP and EIDL loans:
CFSG

  • Collins Investment Services Group, LLC
  • Collins Platinum Car Services, LLC
  • Fabulous financial business solutions
  • Tax Dragon Professional Network LLC
  • T&F investment group
  • Tari Collins Agency, LLC

The Collinses used the fraudulently obtained funds for unauthorized spending, including hundreds of thousands of dollars on luxury goods, personal credit card bills, and office equipment.

After the fraud was uncovered, federal agents were able to confiscate approximately $ 588,900 of the fraudulent proceeds.

Regardless, through its tax preparation business, CFSG, Tiyari Collins filed and initiated thousands of fraudulent federal tax returns between approximately January 2015 and April 2020, resulting in a loss of over $ 3.8 million to the IRS. Tiyari Collins has inflated refunds for its customers, among other things, by fraudulently claiming that they qualified for certain Form 3800 Business Credits and by filing fraudulent Schedule Cs to reduce its customers’ taxable income. CFSG’s customers have never authorized Tiyari Collins to include this materially inaccurate information on their federal tax returns. Agents of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation were able to uncover and confirm this massive tax fraud in part with information from the IRS Scheme Detection Center, which had identified a pattern of suspicious returns associated with Tiyari Collins and its tax preparation company by conducting an undercover Operation and with information obtained as a result of the execution of a state search warrant at the CFSG headquarters in June 2020.

Tiyari Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire transfer fraud and to assisting in filing a false tax return in one case. Farah Collins pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire transfer fraud on one point.

Tiyari Collins, 38, and Farah Collins, 41, both of Atlanta, Georgia, are due for trial in U.S. District Judge William M. Ray II on March 15, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., respectively. planned

This case is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

US assistant attorneys Alex R. Sistla and Thomas J. Krepp are pursuing the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize the Department of Justice’s resources in collaboration with government agencies to step up efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force supports efforts to identify and prosecute the most guilty national and international criminal actors and assists authorities charged with managing fraud prevention aid programs, including by complementing and integrating existing coordination mechanisms, resource identification and Techniques used to detect fraudulent actors and their systems, and the sharing and exploitation of information and intelligence gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the ministry’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus

Anyone with information about suspected COVID-19-related fraud can report this by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or using the NCDF web complaint form at: https: // www .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint form.

For more information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Public Affairs at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The United States Attorney’s web address for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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