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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 6, 2015

Dearborn Woman Pleads Guilty To Tax Charge

A Dearborn woman pleaded guilty to tax evasion, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today. 

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and Acting Chief Patrol Agent R. Alan Booth, United States Border Patrol Detroit Sector.

Zena Karkaba, 33, entered her guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Judith E. Levy.

According to court records, during 2009 through 2012, Karkaba received monetary gifts from an individual, who provided her with personal checks in amounts ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.  In preparing many of these checks, the individual wrote the numeric value on the checks and signed them, leaving the date, payee  and written amount blank.

During 2012, Karkaba received at least 41 checks totaling $160,100, which she altered by changing the numeric amount on the check, increasing the total of the checks to $278,100.  On these checks, Karkaba filled in the date, payee and the corresponding altered written amount.  Karkaba went to the individual’s issuing bank and endorsed these checks, receiving the value of the altered checks in cash.  By altering the checks, Karkaba received $118,000 above the original check amount.

Karkaba filed an individual U.S. Income Tax return, Form 1040, with the Internal Revenue Service for the 2012 tax year claiming the married filing joint filing status and reporting zero taxable income and no tax due and owing.  However, Karkaba knew at the time she filed the return that it was false and fraudulent.  During her plea hearing, Karkaba admitted that her true filing status for the 2012 tax year was single; that her taxable income for the year was $108,250.00 and that she owed income tax of $23,771.00.

“Income from any source, whether earned legally or stolen, is subject to income tax.   By her guilty plea today, Karkaba is acknowledging and accepting the consequences of her criminal actions,” said Special Agent in Charge Jarod J. Koopman.

“We are proud to have played a part in bringing this case to resolution,” said Chief Patrol Agent Booth. “This result is a testament to the partnership between law enforcement agencies along our shared border.”

A sentencing hearing was set for June 24.   The maximum penalty for tax evasion is five years imprisonment; three years supervised release and a $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by special agents of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, patrol agents of the United States Border Patrol – Detroit Sector and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary M. Felder.
Updated March 19, 2015