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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Private Detective Gets 21 Months For Tax Felony

Yaser Khalil Masso, 71, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today to 21 months in prison and was ordered to pay $429,070 in restitution, including interest to the IRS for under-reporting the income that he earned from his detective agency. Masso filed materially false tax returns for tax years 2006 through 2009, substantially under-reporting his income from his sole proprietorship, the Masso Detective Agency.  For tax years 2006 through 2009, Masso reported a total of $454,579 of taxable (net) income -- failing to report an additional $2.1 million in taxable income.  Thus, Masso reported to the IRS, and paid taxes on, only a fraction of his income. 

Masso’s accountants attempted to review his income tax returns with him but Masso was not interested.  Masso failed to provide the records to his accountants that they needed to accurately complete his accounting and tax work.  One of Masso’s accountants specifically asked him whether the 1099’s that Masso provided to his accountant included all of Masso’s income, and Masso falsely replied that they did.    Despite not providing records to his accountants, Masso had a bookkeeping and invoice system in place to bill his customers for security guard services provided.  Masso sent invoices to his customers regularly so that he could get paid and collect his revenue in an accurate and timely manner. 

Masso opened bank accounts at various financial institutions during 2006 through 2009.  Despite having access to bank accounts, Masso routinely cashed checks for significant dollar amounts from his business receipts at check cashing stores, paying additional fees to do so, but thereby hiding income.  Masso did deposit some business checks in his bank accounts -- but (with one exception) he only deposited checks for amounts over $10,000, which, if cashed at a check casher, would have generated a Currency Transaction Report (“CTR”) and would have been reported to the government.

In addition to the prison term and restitution, U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo Robreno ordered one year of supervised release.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Grigsby.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

Updated December 15, 2014