The trio obtained information from immigrants, and then filed for $882,000 in bogus refunds.
Two California tax preparers and their recruiter were sentenced to 30 months in prison for their involvement in a tax preparation scam that resulted in the filing of hundreds of false returns, the theft of dozens of victims’ personal information and the receipt of more than $882,000 in bogus federal income tax refunds.
Rahim Ali Cummings and Rashad Abdul-Rahim pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mail fraud, filing false claims for tax refunds, fraudulent use of a Social Security number and aggravated identity theft. Ebrahim Ashamu admitted in a plea to filing false claims for tax refunds and aggravated identity theft.
Between September 2011 and September 2012, Cummings and Ashamu prepared and filed the false tax returns out of their businesses in El Cajon, California, and employed the services of Abdul-Rahim to recruit customers and obtain stolen identities.
Abdul-Rahim solicited and obtained the personal identifying information from the victims using false pretenses, such as informing the victims they could obtain “free” government money from alleged grant and senior programs, and concealing the fact that their personal information would be used to file false tax returns.
Many of the people Abdul-Rahim obtained information from were immigrants from countries such as Somalia and Nigeria who knew very little, if anything, about U.S. tax laws.