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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, December 20, 2018

Owner Of Vehicle Maintenance And Repair Companies Convicted Of Bribery And Tax Fraud In Manhattan Federal Court

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that IBRAHIM ISSA, a/k/a “Tony Issa,” was found guilty yesterday of bribery of public officials and tax fraud.  A unanimous jury convicted ISSA after a two-week trial before Chief United States District Judge Colleen McMahon.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As proven at trial, Ibrahim Issa provided cash, lavish meals, and trips to managers of U.S. Postal Service Vehicle Maintenance Facilities (“VMFs”) in exchange for lucrative vehicle maintenance and repair jobs on Postal Service vehicles.  In addition, Issa evaded and conspired to evade both corporate and personal income taxes.”

According to court documents and the evidence at trial:

From at least in or about 2012 up to and including in or about August 2016, ISSA, who owned and operated numerous auto-repair and maintenance companies in the New York area and elsewhere, paid bribes to Postal Service VMF managers in order to obtain work repairing and maintaining vehicles belonging to the Postal Service.  ISSA provided cash, gifts, lavish meals, and trips to these VMF Managers in exchange for receiving work for his companies.  As a result of some of these bribes, ISSA received millions of dollars in fees from the Postal Service. 

In addition, from at least in or about 2012 up to and including in or about August 2016, ISSA conspired with others to evade paying federal income taxes for his auto-repair and maintenance companies by misreporting income and expenses to the IRS.  ISSA also signed and subscribed to false personal income tax returns.  As a result of ISSA’s tax fraud through both his companies and personally, ISSA failed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes due and owing.

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IBRAHIM ISSA, 56, of Manhattan, New York, was convicted of one count of bribery (which carries a maximum sentence 15 years in prison), one count of conspiracy to file a false corporate tax return (five years in prison), one count of corporate tax evasion (five years in prison), one count of aiding and abetting the filing of a false corporate tax return (three years in prison), and three counts of signing and subscribing a false personal tax return (each of which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison).

The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.  ISSA is scheduled to be sentenced on April 30, 2019, at 4:00 p.m., before Chief Judge McMahon.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the United States Postal Service Office of the Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service.

This matter is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Kyle Wirshba, Elizabeth Hanft, and Noah Solowiejczyk are in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Press Release Number: 
18-456
Updated December 20, 2018