Former Clerk for Chicago Transit Authority Retirement Plan Sentenced to a Year in Prison for Fraudulently Obtaining $356,000 in Plan Funds
CHICAGO — A special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, a criminal investigative unit within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been indicted on federal tax, structuring, and concealment offenses.
ANTHONY SABAINI, who was assigned to HSI’s field office in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., is charged with five counts of willfully filing a false federal tax return, one count of structuring a currency transaction, and one count of willfully engaging in a scheme to conceal a material fact in a matter within the jurisdiction of DHS, according to an indictment returned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago. Sabaini, 38, of Naperville, Ill., will be arraigned on a date to be set by the Court.
The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; and Tamera Cantu, Acting Special Agent-in-Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division in Chicago. The DHS Office of Inspector General's Chicago Field Office participated in the investigation. Valuable assistance was provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of Professional Responsibility. The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Eichenseer.
According to the indictment, Sabaini from 2014 to 2018 deposited a total of approximately $251,371 in cash into a bank account for which he was the sole signatory. He made the deposits via approximately 162 ATM or teller transactions, with the amount of each deposit being less than $10,000, the indictment states. The deposits were structured in an effort to evade federal reporting rules, which require financial institutions to notify the U.S. Department of the Treasury about transactions of more than $10,000, the charges allege.
The tax charges allege that for each of those five calendar years, Sabaini willfully filed a false federal tax return that underreported his total income.
The concealment charge alleges that Sabaini in 2017 and 2018 knowingly submitted false memorandums to his HSI supervisors to seek approval to use and pay a confidential informant in a purported criminal investigation. In the memorandums, Sabaini knowingly covered up material facts, including that the informant was a target of ongoing drug investigations conducted by the FBI and DEA, and that the informant had recently engaged in unauthorized criminal conduct that Sabaini knew would have affected his suitability as a paid HSI informant, the indictment states.
The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Each tax charge is punishable by up to three years in federal prison, while the structuring and concealment charges are each punishable by up to five years. If convicted, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.