former tile company executive sentenced to five years for bank fraud and tax evasion
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Iraj a/k/a “Roger” Ahmadian, 54, of Collierville, Tenn., was sentenced today to 60 months in prison, followed by three years supervised release for embezzling more than $500,000 from his former employer, Dillon Stone Corporation, a Virginia Beach-based retail marble and granite tile company. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $508,998.99.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Jerome B. Friedman. Ahmadian pled guilty on August 6, 2010, to one count of bank fraud and one count of income tax evasion.
From October 2003 to January 2007, Ahmadian was an executive at Dillon Stone who oversaw the day-to-day operations of the company, including project estimating, sales and project management. Dillon Stone paid its subcontractors through weekly draws and reported these payments to the Internal Revenue Service on Forms 1099. To initiate payment, a project manager and/or Ahmadian would submit a subcontractor pay request, which operated as a vendor invoice, to the accounting department in Virginia Beach. Ahmadian had the authority to approve these subcontractor pay requests.
At the time Ahmadian began his employment with Dillon Stone, Ahmadian owned and operated his own company called National Marble Tile & Terrazzo, Inc. (NMTT), a corporation registered in Georgia, but operated out of Memphis, Tenn. NMTT was also engaged in the commercial tile business. NMTT was assigned an Employer Identification Number (EIN) by the IRS, and this number was used to open two bank accounts at First Tennessee Bank in Memphis.
On or about September 10, 2004, Ahmadian opened a nominee bank account at the First Tennessee Bank in the name of Phoenix Tile and Marble Company, Inc. On the account opening signature card, Ahmadian listed himself as the secretary/CEO of Phoenix Tile and indicated that the company was a corporation in good standing organized under the laws of Tennessee. Ahmadian provided the same IEN for Phoenix Tile that the IRS assigned to NMTT. The IRS does not assign the same EIN to multiple entities, regardless of ownership. At the time of this bank account’s opening and throughout Ahmadian’s tenure at Dillon Stone, Phoenix Tile was not an entity that was registered or licensed to operate in Virginia or Tennessee. The IRS did not issue an EIN for Phoenix.
From October 2004 to January 2005, Ahmadian caused Dillon Stone to issue approximately $53,026 in payments to the non-existent entity Phoenix Tile. From February 2004 to January 2007, Ahmadian also caused Dillon Stone to issue approximately 200 paychecks to subcontractors totaling over $500,000. Ahmadian caused the subcontractors’ endorsements to be forged and the money to be deposited into the NMTT and Phoenix Tile bank accounts for his own use, including for paying his mortgage, medical expenses, travel, and making payments to his wife and others.
Ahmadian filed no individual or corporate federal income tax returns, declaring income from Dillon Stone or any other source, for the years 2004 through 2006, until February
2009. After becoming aware of a criminal investigation being conducted by the FBI and IRS in February 2009, Ahmadian, filed with the IRS, Form 1040 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns for the years 2004, 2005 and 2006 on the dates and showing taxable income and tax due and owing. At the time of filing, Ahmadian made no payments toward this admitted tax due and owing.
This case was investigated by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorney Brian J. Samuels prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.