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Decatur Man Sentenced to 14 Months in Prison for Corporate Tax Evasion and Related Charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2011

Urbana, Ill. – A Decatur, Illinois man, Mohammed Rebhi Qattoum, has been sentenced to serve more than a year in federal prison. On Friday, Feb. 25, Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey ordered that Qattoum, a former owner of JB Food and Liquor in Decatur, serve 14 months in federal prison for tax evasion. According to court documents, Qattoum, 42, of the 4500 block of Mission Drive, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $287,619 to the IRS in unpaid taxes. Qattoum was ordered to report on April 13, 2011, to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his prison sentence.

On Nov. 17, 2010, Qattoum entered pleas of guilty to two counts of tax evasion related to operation of JB Food and Liquor, located at 1120 Wood Street, in Decatur, related to corporate income tax returns filed on behalf of the business for 2005 and 2007 which under-reported the business’s income. Qattoum also pled guilty to one count each of witness tampering and making false statements. On April 10, 2008, Qattoum attempted to persuade a witness to withhold information from the grand jury and on Apr. 9, 2008, provided false information when he was interviewed by agents with the Internal Revenue Service.

The charges were investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Illinois Department of Revenue. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patrick J. Chesley and Elly M. Peirson.

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