Swampscott Man Sentenced for Tax Scheme Targeting Greater Boston Congolese Community
BOSTON – A Swampscott man was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston in connection with a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by falsely inflating taxpayer’s federal income tax refunds and diverting a portion of those refunds to accounts he and his co-conspirators controlled.
Boris Shadari, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release. Shadari was also ordered to pay restitution of $496,082. On March 31, 2022, Shadari pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, three counts of filing a false tax return, three counts of aiding or assisting in filing a false tax return, two counts of theft of government funds, five counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of witness tampering. Co-conspirator Christian Zynga previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States in October 2021 and is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16, 2022.
“Mr. Shadari not only defrauded the federal government, but also took advantage of people in his own community, many of whom were hardworking immigrants who were not familiar with American tax laws,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Today’s sentence provides justice for members of the Congolese community in Greater Boston that Mr. Shadari targeted and exploited. Contact information, as well as general information on choosing a tax preparer and reporting concerns about tax preparers, is available in several languages on www.irs.gov.”
“In a scheme that was difficult to detect, Boris Shadari took advantage of dozens of hard-working members of his own community, betrayed their trust, and defrauded taxpayers in the process, all the while raking in almost half a million dollars for himself,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Also troubling is Mr. Shadari’s attempt to intimidate one of his victims into lying to investigators. While today’s sentence holds him accountable for his criminal conduct, it also underscores the need for all of us to exercise due diligence when choosing a tax preparer.”
“Today’s sentencing should bring some measure of closure to the members of the Congolese community, whose vulnerability and trust Shadari preyed upon and exploited,” said Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Office. “This sentencing ends a painful chapter for all those impacted by the defendant’s crimes and now holds him accountable for his predatory actions. Sadly, this crime is an all too common one and a stark reminder of the importance of selecting an honest tax preparer.”
“Through disguise and deceit, Mr. Shadari conned members of his community to trust him only to repay their trust with greed,” said Ketty Larco-Ward, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division. “Today’s sentencing shows how using the U.S. Mail to facilitate any fraud scheme will not be tolerated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.”
From 2012 to 2018, Shadari and Zynga held Shadari out as a tax professional, targeting the Congolese community of Greater Boston. Until 2017, they took their customers’ tax information to a tax professional at a tax preparation company 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. After 2017, Shadari prepared customers’ returns himself and added false information to the returns to inflate the refunds due. Shadari also failed to report the income he received from this scheme on his own tax returns. After Shadari became aware of the investigation, he told a taxpayer to lie to investigators about the information in the returns he had prepared for her and suggested she would owe thousands of dollars back to the IRS and that her immigration status in the United States could be compromised if she did not do as he instructed.
U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta, IRS CI SAC Simpson and USPIS INC Larco-Ward made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.