Former Bank Manager Sentenced for Role in Tax Scheme Targeting Immigrant Community
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Scheme targeted members of the Congolese community of Greater Boston
BOSTON – A former bank manager was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for falsely inflating taxpayer’s federal income tax refunds and diverting a portion of those refunds to accounts controlled by him and others.
Christian Zynga, 47, formerly of Everett, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to time served and two years of supervised release with the first six months to be served in home detention. Zynga was also ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and restitution to the Internal Revenue Service of $194,305. In October 2021, Zynga pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
From 2012 to 2018, Zynga and co-conspirator Boris Shadari held Shadari out to be a tax professional, particularly for the Congolese community of Greater Boston. Until 2017, they took their customers’ tax information to a legitimate tax professional and provided the tax professional with false information concerning their customers’ dependents, dependent and childcare expenses and business income and losses in order to inflate the customers’ federal income tax refunds. They then caused the refunds to be split between the customers’ bank accounts and accounts they and their co-conspirators controlled.
From 2017 to 2018, Zynga and Shadari prepared customers’ tax returns themselves while continuing to inflate refunds by adding false information to the returns and diverting a portion of the customers’ refunds to themselves or accounts they or their co-conspirators controlled. The scheme resulted in a tax loss of more than $500,000. Among other things, Zynga, who worked as a bank manager, opened bank accounts in others’ names for the purpose of receiving the fraudulent federal income tax refunds. Zynga also provided Shadari with the names and Social Security numbers of children of an associate who was living abroad at the time so that they could be falsely listed as dependents on returns.
On Aug. 2, 2022, Shadari was sentenced to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release after previously pleading guilty to his role in the scheme. Shadari was also ordered to pay restitution of $496,082.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; and Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.
Updated December 1, 2022