Columbus Man Sentenced for Filing False Tax Returns While in Federal Prison
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Malek B. Aliane, 34, previously of Columbus, was sentenced in U.S. District Court on one count each of mail fraud and presenting false claims to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office, James Vanderberg, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and Assistant Inspector in Charge Christopher White of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Cincinnati Field Office, announced the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
Aliane was sentenced to 36 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $90,297.26 in restitution to the IRS.
According to court documents, from 2013 through 2015, while in federal prison or on supervised release, Aliane filed false personal income tax returns, false personal amended income tax returns, and false corporate income tax returns with the IRS. He filed six returns in total which claimed false tax refunds through fraudulent federal income tax withholdings. Aliane created fictitious W-2 and 1099 forms setting forth large federal tax withholding amounts.
In 2013 and 2014, while in prison, Aliane mailed paper returns to the IRS. In 2015, while on supervised release, he electronically filed the returns.
Three false Forms 1040 and/or Forms 1040X for the tax years 2012, 2013 and 2014 claimed a total of $94,133.87 in bogus refunds. The other three were false Forms 1120 for Aliane’s business, MB Aliane Real Estate, LLC, for the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 claiming $422,185.00 in false refunds.
Also, from February 1, 2015, through June 23, 2015, Aliane used personal identification information of other individuals in order to file false, fictitious and fraudulent unemployment insurance (UI) applications with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) upon the purported employer account of JLB Financial Group.
On May 12, 2015, Aliane registered the fictitious employer account of JLB Financial Group with the ODJFS. This employer account was registered with backdated liability dates and no contributions having been paid. Seven individuals were listed as employees of JLB Financial Group with wages from the first quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2015; however, those seven individual employees were all incarcerated before and during the aforementioned wage period. None of them ever actually worked for JLB. Seven individual UI claims were filed on the business account, and the government contends that the potential unemployment benefits to be paid on those claims totals $77,168
“The schemes perpetrated by Mr. Aliane systematically defrauded the government and the taxpaying public,” said Kathy A. Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “At the IRS, protecting taxpayer money is a matter we take very seriously. IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to vigorously pursue those who unjustly enrich themselves by preparing false claims for refunds.”
Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the cooperative investigation by the IRS-CI, Department of Labor and USPIS, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Daniel Brown, who is representing the United States in this case.