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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANGELA DODGE

February 17, 2011

PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICER
(713) 567-9388

HOUSTON BUSINESS OWNER WHO EVADED TAXES ON MILLION IN INCOME CONVICTED

(HOUSTON) – The owner of Houston area automobile and towing businesses has pleaded guilty to tax evasion and faces up to five years in federal prison, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge Rodney E. Clarke announced today.

Faraj Salim Said, aka Sam Said, of Houston, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt to evading taxes by not filing tax returns for tax years 2006, 2007, 2008 or 2009, while having taxable income of approximately $1,300,000. 

In the signed plea agreement filed of record in this case, Said admitted he placed three of his businesses - Bichr Collision Inc., National Auto Collision Inc., and Budget Collision Inc. - in nominee names, including his brother’s name, and making false statements about his income in a deposition. During one deposition, Said stated he was a “manager” for one of the businesses that he actually owned and that he received “zero” compensation for his work. In his plea agreement filed of record in this case, Said has also admitted making false statements regarding his income. Said evaded approximately $316,000 in income taxes on approximately $1,300,000 he failed to report as income between 2006 and 2009.

“It is imperative that Americans have faith in our nation's tax system; honest taxpayers need to be assured that everyone in this economy is paying their fair share,” said Clarke. “Our largest enforcement program is directed at the small percentage of American taxpayers who willfully and intentionally violate their known legal duty to file and pay their fair share of taxes.”

Statutorily, a conviction of tax evasion carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  The sentencing date is May 23, 2011, at 10:00 a.m. Said has been permitted to remain on bond pending his sentencing hearing.

This matter is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Vaden and was investigated by IRS-CI.

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