Accounting Manager for Everett, Washington, company pleads guilty to embezzling more than $2.5 million from employer
Seattle – A 43-year-old Everett, Washington, man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to aiding and assisting with the filing of false tax returns, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman. Abinet Onkiso pleaded guilty to four counts and faces up to three years in prison per count when sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik on October 19, 2023.
According to records filed in the case, since at least 2012, Onkiso operated a tax preparation business called Affordable Income Tax LLC. As a tax preparer he intentionally exaggerated deductions for his clients: unreimbursed employee expenses, charitable deductions, and payments for “other taxes.” Between 2016 and 2019 Onkiso submitted exaggerated deductions on more than 79 tax returns for 29 different clients. In total the fake deductions led to a tax loss of $212,395.
Some of Onkiso’s clients were audited and paid approximately $12,000 of the taxes owed. The rest of the tax loss falls to Onkiso, who is required to make restitution to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $200,277, with credit for any amounts already paid.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend no more than six months in prison. Judge Lasnik is not bound by the recommendation and may impose any statement allowed by law.
The case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Watts Staniar.
Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@usdoj.gov.