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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Monday - June 21, 2004

NEW BERN - United States Attorney Frank D. Whitney announced that a jury in New Bern, N. C., has convicted SAID KARIM HAYEZ of two felony counts of filing false tax returns. The jury returned its verdict today, following a five-day trial in federal court. HAYEZ was taken into custody pending sentencing.

HAYEZ was the president and owner of Columbia Assessment Services, Inc., a Raleigh, N. C., testing company. As president, HAYEZ carried out a complex scheme to extract over $1 million from the company in order to pay off personal debts. HAYEZ hid the money from the Internal Revenue Service by disguising it as contractual payments to legitimate clients.

U. S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan has scheduled sentencing for September in New Bern. For each of the two felony counts, HAYEZ could receive a maximum sentence of three years imprisonment, a $250,000.00 fine or twice his gross gain, and one year of supervised release.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Assistant U. S. Attorneys Clay C. Wheeler and Dennis M. Duffy prosecuted the case for the United States.

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