Federal Prosecutions Serve as Reminder to Comply With Tax Obligations as Revised Filing Deadline Arrives
CHICAGO — With the upcoming arrival of Tax Day on July 15, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago remind taxpayers to accurately file their returns and promptly pay any money owed.
The new deadline to file and pay 2019 income taxes and estimated taxes is Wednesday, July 15, 2020. The federal government and state of Illinois postponed the original filing deadline of April 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tax evaders face criminal charges, including potential incarceration, as well as civil penalties, and they remain responsible for all taxes and interest due, said John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago.
“Taxes are how governments provide essential services,” said U.S. Attorney Lausch. “Tax offenses are neither victimless nor without consequence. Our office strives to preserve the integrity of the federal tax system through vigorous enforcement of the internal revenue laws.”
“As the tax filing deadline quickly approaches, I am asking all citizens to file correct and accurate tax returns and to pay their share of taxes,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Enstrom. “We all pay when others cheat the government. IRS Criminal Investigation, together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, works year-round to make certain that those who willfully defy the tax laws will be investigated and criminally prosecuted. Taxpayers are encouraged to visit the IRS.gov website for tips on filing a tax return accurately and searching for a reputable return preparer.”
Several Chicago-area defendants have recently been prosecuted in federal court for a variety of tax violations, exemplifying the serious nature of the offense.
MOHAMMAD KHATIB and his wife, LISA KHATIB, pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns. The couple concealed more than $2.2 million in taxable income from their business in south suburban Harvey, leading to a total tax loss of at least $822,266. U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman sentenced Mohammad Khatib to two years in federal prison, and Lisa Khatib to six months of home confinement. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean J.B. Franzblau.
SAMANTHA RILEY, of Oak Park, pleaded guilty to stealing federal tax refunds in other taxpayers’ names and directing the money to be deposited into her personal bank accounts. Riley used the illegal proceeds to purchase clothing at Gucci and to make a down payment on a Porsche Cayenne. U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall sentenced Riley to five years of probation and ordered her to pay $77,726 in restitution to the IRS. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean K. Driscoll.
Another recent tax prosecution resulted in a term of imprisonment for a Chicago business owner for filing a false tax return. PATRYK TRYNDA, the sole owner of Kitchen and Bath Design Inc., failed to report $4.03 million of gross receipts for 2015 and 2016, resulting in tax losses of $345,091. Trynda also employed at least eleven individuals but failed to pay payroll taxes to the IRS for the years 2015, 2016, and 2017, causing $166,617 in additional tax losses. U.S. District Judge Andrea R. Wood sentenced Trynda to a year and day in federal prison and ordered him to pay a fine of $10,000. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordan Matthews.
A federal prison sentence was also handed down to ROBERT S. WAKSMUNDZKI, of Chicago and Palos Hills, on conspiracy and false tax return charges. For several years Waksmundzki significantly underreported income he received from operating multiple websites, including Torrentz, through which visitors were re-directed via links to other sites where they could download motion picture content without the authority of lawful copyright holders. U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang sentenced Waksmundzki to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered him to pay $194,166 in restitution to the IRS. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean K. Driscoll.
RICHARD T. DAVIS, the owner of a McHenry County tooling and plastics business, pleaded guilty to diverting nearly $500,000 in business receipts into his personal checking account and failing to report the income on his personal tax return. U.S. District Judge Philip G. Reinhard sentenced Davis to two years of probation and ordered him to pay restitution of $113,845 to the IRS. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Love.
For tips to assist taxpayers in choosing a reputable tax professional or preparing their own taxes, visit the official IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-tax-tips. Taxpayers facing hardships due to COVID-19 may also find assistance by visiting the official IRS website at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus-tax-relief-and-economic-impact-payments.