CHICAGO (CBS) — Officials have charged the operators of an financial firm with trying to cheat the State of Illinois out of more than $5 million in taxes owed by gas stations.
The Illinois Attorney General’s office and Department of Revenue announced charges against accountant Naveed Ahmed and his brother, Asif Waheed, with preparing fraudulent sales tax returns for six gas station owners. Ahmed owns the firm Midwest Financial, which handled the fraudulent taxes, while his brother works for him.
A Cook County grand jury indictment claimed Midwest Financial is known among gas station owners for lowering their owed sales taxes. Authorities say Ahmed and Waheed lied about the gas station owners’ sales taxes on the state Sales and Use Tax return forms to lower the owed taxes.
Some gas station owners also provided incomplete sales data to Midwest Financial, and Waheed fabricated their sales figures for them, authorities said.
Ahmed and Waheed are charged with 27 counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and filing fraudulent state sales tax returns, all of which are Class 3 felonies punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison. They were arrested Wednesday and are both being held on $400,000 bond.