The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maine has issued a press release for the sentencing of a tax return preparer located in Portland, Maine. The individual in question, Ashraf Eldeknawey, had been charged with preparing false tax returns.
Per the press release:
U.S. District Judge D. Brock Hornby sentenced Ashraf Eldeknawey, 46, to six months in prison and one year of supervised release. Judge Hornby also ordered Eldeknawey to pay $97,191 in restitution to the IRS. Eldeknawey pleaded guilty on August 14, 2019.
According to court documents and information presented in court, Eldeknawey operated a tax return preparation business located inside the Ahram Halal Market in Portland from 2015 to 2018. He prepared fraudulent tax returns for clients on which he reported self-employment income that they did not earn. As a result, the clients received tax refunds to which they were not entitled. Eldeknawey also filed a 2014 tax return for himself on which he overstated the expenses associated with a painting business he operated.
Per the Tax Division’s Manual, preparing false tax returns is charged under 26 U.S.C. § 7206(2). The elements for this charge are that:
As previously stated, the defendant has been sentenced to six months in prison, sentenced to one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay $97,191 in restitution to the IRS. Before considering other relevant factors or characteristics, the Sentencing Table in the United States Sentencing Guidelines provides sentences of six months for Offense Levels of 10 or below. An Offense Level of 10 is designated for activities that incur tax losses of more than $6,500, and less than $15,500 based on the “Tax Table” found in USSG 2T4.1.
All persons who are merely charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, sentences can vary depending on several factors which vary from person to person. This blog post does not implicitly or explicitly suggest there is basis to the prosecuting agency’s allegations or take any position on the strengths or weaknesses of the government’s positions.
Posted on 02/04/2020 by Benjamin Tu