Kenyan among five indicted in Minnesota tax fraud case

A federal grand jury has indicted five Minneapolis-area tax preparers accused of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service.

Chatonda Khofi, Ishmael Kosh, Amadou Sangaray, Francis Saygbay and David Mwangi — all tax return preparers with Primetime Tax Services Inc. — are charged in the 70-count indictment with conspiracy to defraud the United States, aggravated identity theft and aiding and assisting in the preparation and filing of false and fraudulent income tax returns.

The indictment alleges the five defendants prepared and filed fraudulent state and federal income tax returns on behalf of their customers.

These returns “claimed false dependents and reported false Schedule A deductions, Schedule C businesses and W-2 wages. These false entries qualified customers for fraudulently inflated refunds,” according to a news release from the IRS, which investigated the case.

The indictment alleges the five defendants “demanded from the customers a portion of the cashed refund check in addition to tax preparation fees that the defendants and others had already taken.”

“Filing fraudulent tax returns in the names of other individuals may result in significant harm to those individuals whose identities were stolen, as well as a monetary loss against the U.S. Treasury,” IRS Special Agent Kelly Jackson said in the news release.

An initial appearance in the case is scheduled for May 7.

Information was not available on whether any the five have retained attorneys.

-The Twin Cities

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