On Feb. 7, 2019, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Saud Alessa, Jeffrey Bowen, and Jackie Hayes, with conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and additionally charged Alessa with tax evasion and filing false tax returns, announced Principle Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and United States Attorney Nicholas A. Trutanich for the District of Nevada.
According to the indictment, Bowen was the President and owner of a vacuum cleaner distributing company in Reno, Nevada. Alessa worked for Bowen’s company on sales teams from 1998 to 2006. During those years, Alessa allegedly accrued over $200,000 in unpaid federal income tax. In 2006, the IRS began attempting to collect Alessa’s outstanding tax liabilities. Alessa allegedly did not voluntarily pay any of his outstanding debt to the IRS, and in 2013, Alessa filed a bankruptcy petition reporting that he owed a federal tax debt of $503,821 to the IRS.
The indictment charges that between 2010 and 2013 Alessa, Alessa’s longtime domestic partner Hayes, and Bowen conspired to conceal Alessa’s business activity and income from the IRS. Alessa’s commissions and other earned income earned were allegedly recorded in Bowen’s company’s books in Hayes’s name and paid to Hayes instead of Alessa. Alessa, Bowen, and Hayes allegedly filed fraudulent documents with the IRS that disguised the commissions and other income earned by Alessa as income earned by Hayes. In order to further the scheme, the co-conspirators allegedly made false and misleading statements to the IRS, the United States Bankruptcy Court, and the United States Trustee’s office to convince the authorities that Alessa had no business activity and no source of income that could be used to pay Alessa’s outstanding tax debt to the IRS.
The indictment also charges Alessa individually with evading the payment of taxes, penalties and interest due and owing to the IRS for tax years 1998 through 2007, and with filing false income tax returns for 2012 and 2013.
If convicted, Alessa, Bowen, and Hayes each face a maximum sentence of five years in prison on the conspiracy counts. Alessa faces an additional five years in prison on the tax evasion count and an additional three years in prison on each false return count. Alessa, Bowen, and Hayes also face a period of supervised release and monetary penalties.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Trial Attorneys Christopher Strauss and Michael Landman, both of the Tax Division, along with Assistant United States Attorney Sue Fahami, are prosecuting the case.
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Author: February 8, 2019