A Cartersville man was arraigned and charged with three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return, two counts of health care fraud, and two counts of false statements related to health care matters. Another man associated with the case was charged with making a false statement to a federal agent.
Through various corporations, Mohammed Ajmal owned several gas stations and convenience stores in the Cartersville, Georgia, area. Many of the stores contained coin operated amusement machines, known as “COAMs”. COAMs are regulated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Georgia Lottery Corporation issued administrative regulations under Georgia law which resulted Ajmal receiving less revenue from the COAMs. Ajmal then contacted the company holding the master license for the COAMs in his properties, and allegedly conveyed that if it wanted to continue operating COAMs on Ajmal’s properties, it would have to pay additional money, or kickbacks, to Ajmal. To disguise the kickback payments, Ajmal allegedly told the company to write checks to Ajmal’s relatives, including his brother, Shahzad. Ajmal then allegedly used the monies for his own benefit, including to build a new home. From 2015 through 2018, the amount of the kickbacks totaled $2,292,847. Ajmal allegedly did not report any of this income on his tax returns for 2015 through 2017; as a result, Ajmal allegedly paid less federal tax than he actually owed for all three years.
In addition, Ajmal allegedly made false statements to PeachCare for Kids, which is a publicly subsidized health insurance program for children in low- and moderate-income Georgia families. To enroll a child in PeachCare for Kids, parents must show that the family’s income is below certain limits. Because Ajmal’s income was well over the eligibility limit, Ajmal’s children were not eligible for PeachCare for Kids.