“Our country’s financial system depends on honest and strict compliance with US tax laws,” said incumbent US Attorney Phillips. “Tax fraud costs US taxpayers billions of dollars each year, and this agency will vigorously prosecute those who commit tax fraud.” Asfaw pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. The Honorable John D. Bates slated the conviction on November 17, 2021. The indictment provides for a maximum statutory sentence of three years in prison and potential fines. As part of the settlement agreement, Asfaw agreed to pay compensation to the United States.
According to court documents, Asfaw, a Certified Public Accountant in Alexandria, has been running Endalk and Yohannes Associated, LP with a business partner in the District of Columbia since 2011. From 2016 to 2019, Asfaw and its business partner prepared around 10,000 tax returns.
“Tax advisors who are entrusted with the preparation of accurate tax returns should not mislead their clients by falsifying the declarations made on their behalf. We will continue to investigate those who fraudulently prepare and file income tax returns, effectively stealing money from the government, ”said acting Special Envoy Waldon.
According to court documents, Asfaw knowingly helped prepare false income tax returns for 2015-2017 on behalf of its clients. Asfaw did this by deliberately overstating its customers’ non-reimbursed business expenses, including uniforms and non-reimbursed mileage expenses. As part of his plea, Asfaw also admitted creating fraudulent Schedule C expenses and subtracting exceptions for individuals who were not eligible for its customers. Asfaw admitted it made these items in order to get larger tax refunds for its customers. As part of his plea, Asfaw admitted that he filed false tax returns that resulted in an aggregate tax loss of more than $ 250,000 for the U.S. government.
In announcing the plea, Acting US Attorney Phillips and Acting Special Envoy Waldon praised the work of the IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington Field Office, in investigating the case. They also recognized the work of those handling the case with the US Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Mariela Andrade and US Assistant Attorney Leslie A. Goemaat, who are prosecuting the matter.
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