WASHINGTON - Idrissa Bassoum, a former resident of Cincinnati, made his initial appearance in federal district court in Cincinnati on tax charges, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. In December 2009, a sealed indictment was returned charging Bassoum with fifteen counts of aiding in the preparation of false income tax returns, one count of filing a false tax return and one count of failure to file a tax return. The indictment was unsealed on March 18, 2010, following the defendant’s arrest in Atlanta.
According to the indictment, from February 2003 through 2005, Bassoum operated Bassoum’s Consulting Service (BCS), a tax preparation business run out of his residence catering primarily to immigrants. Bassoum prepared and electronically filed tax returns for his clients that included inflated or wholly fictitious deductions, such as moving expenses, which resulted in his clients claiming inflated fraudulent tax refunds.
According to the indictment, Bassoum received substantial tax preparation fees through BCS that were typically subtracted from the refund amounts obtained for his clients and were directly deposited into Bassoum’s personal bank account. Despite preparing hundreds of tax returns for clients during tax years 2003 and 2004, Bassoum failed to report any income derived from his tax preparation activities on his personal tax returns.
Judge S. Arthur Spiegel, who is presiding over the matter, has not scheduled a trial date. If convicted, Bassoum faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 as to each of the fifteen counts of aiding in the filing of a false tax return. If convicted, Bassoum faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for filing a false tax return and a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a maximum fine of $100,000 for failure to file a tax return.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
The case was investigated by IRS - Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Tax Division trial attorneys Jorge Almonte and Sean R. Delaney.