Minnesota: Tax Prep Fraudster Finally Caught in his Native Africa

I actually had to laugh when I saw the Associated Press story headlined:

St. Paul man sentenced for income tax preparation fraud

It is the kind of a headline I’ve joked about many times: St. Paul “man” (nothing to see, move along!).  The short AP story never mentions Kenneth Mwase’s African connections and his earlier flee from justice.

taxfraudimage
As is so often the case with foreign fraudsters, I could not find any photo of the convicted tax cheat Mwase!

Here is AP and then I’ll give you some more important facts from the US Justice Department about the gang of ‘new Americans’ and how they and their Minnesota clients defrauded us—American taxpayers.

A St. Paul man has been sentenced to about 10 years in prison for directing a fraudulent tax return preparation business.

Kenneth Mwase and four co-defendants were accused of preparing and filing more than 2,000 fraudulent individual income tax returns in 2006 through 2008. The defendants operated Primetime Tax Services, which had three storefronts in the Minneapolis area.

The 54-year-old Mwase pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, aggravated identity theft and failing to appear at sentencing. Mwase admitted overseeing a conspiracy that caused a tax loss of more than $2.5 million dollars.

What the AP isn’t telling you!

Here are some more important facts about the not-so-simple story from the Department of Justice (hat tip: Leo).  Sorry this is long, but I want you to see the full story!

A Minneapolis based tax return preparer was sentenced to serve 121 months in prison today for managing and directing a fraudulent return-preparation business, Primetime Tax Services Inc.

Kenneth Mwase, who also fraudulently used the name Chatonda Khofi, 54, of St. Paul, Minnesota, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, one count of aggravated identity theft, and one count of failure to appear at sentencing.

[….]

In April 2014, the defendant was charged in a seventy-count second superseding indictment, along with codefendants Ishmael Kosh, 39, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Amadou Sangaray, 36, of New York, New York, and Francis Saygbay, 43, of Minneapolis, and David Mwangi, 47, of Arlington, Texas, for their involvement with Primetime, a tax preparation business with three storefronts in the Minneapolis area. Together with his co-defendants, Mwase prepared and filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over 2,000 fraudulent individual income tax returns on behalf of customers of Primetime for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008. Mwase and his co-defendants also prepared approximately 1,700 fraudulent state income tax returns filed with the state of Minnesota for those years.

In November 2014, Mwase plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the Government and one count of aggravated identity theft. As part of his plea agreement, Mwase admitted overseeing a conspiracy that caused a tax loss of over $2.5 million dollars. Mwase and co-defendants Kosh, Sangaray, and Saygbay established Primetime’s flagship location in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, in late 2006. They then prepared tax returns in 2007, 2008, and 2009, for Primetime’s customers, which reported false dependents, fake business income and losses, inflated deductions, inflated credits, and false filing statuses, in order to get their customers inflated refunds. The defendants maintained control over their customers’ IRS refunds by instructing that those refunds be sent directly to Primetime. They then caused their preparation fee to be directly withdrawn from the refund. When a customer came to pick up their refund check or debit card, the defendants sometimes escorted that customer to a check cashing location or ATM and demanded additional cash.

Mwase was scheduled to be sentenced on August 18, 2016, following the two-week trial of co-defendants Kosh and Sangaray, which occurred in September 2015, and the guilty plea of co-defendant Saygbay, in November 2015. However, on August 7, 2016, he fled to South Africa, using a fake identity and a fraudulently-obtained Zimbabwean passport. In April 2017, Mwase was charged with one count of failure to appear for sentencing.

With the assistance of the United States Department of State, INTERPOL, and Zimbabwean and South African authorities, Mwase was arrested in South Africa in May 2018. Over the years, Mwase used multiple fake identities, including passing himself off as Chatonda Khofi, an individual born in Washington, D.C. to diplomats from Malawi. In October 2018, following an extradition request from the United States, Mwase was surrendered to the custody of the United States Marshals Service and returned to Minnesota to face sentencing. On November 16, 2018, Mwase pled guilty to the charge of failing to appear for sentencing. Mwase’s co-conspirators were previously sentenced to prison.

So typical!

A little more to the story than the AP wants to give you and I suspect that is because this bunch are immigrants, maybe even illegal immigrants, and the real story does not further the mainstream media’s pre-approved portrayal of “new Americans.”

question markAnd, by the way, every one of Mwase’s clients is as guilty as he is! So when are the feds going to track down the 2,000 or more Minnesota customers who went along with the scheme?

 

Endnote: As I continue to build an archive of stories here, note the tags at the bottom. I am tagging stories by state (if that applies), so you will have ready access to information on frauds and crooks in your state!

Boston Trial of Indian-American Opioid Drug Executive Underway

You might have caught a bit of this story on the national news because it involves a former stripper hired to help sell the drugs.

From the Boston Globe:

The federal government, which has been accused of failing to hold drug companies to account for the nation’s deadly opioid epidemic, hopes to dispel that impression Monday when the first criminal trial of pharmaceutical executives who marketed a painkiller begins.

johnnathkapoor
‘New American’ John Nath Kapoor was born in India

John N. Kapoor, a onetime billionaire and founder of Arizona-based Insys Therapeutics, is scheduled to go on trial in US District Court in Boston along with four former company executives on charges that they acted more like mobsters than pharmaceutical executives when they sold a brand of fentanyl, a powerful and addictive opioid.

In a trial expected to last up to three months, federal prosecutors will try to convince a jury that the five defendants paid bribes and kickbacks to physicians in a nationwide racketeering conspiracy. The payments allegedly induced doctors to prescribe Subsys, an under-the-tongue fentanyl spray approved to treat severe cancer-related pain, for patients who hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer.

The case features several explosive allegations. Prosecutors say that Insys set up a sham “speakers program” to funnel cash to doctors, adjusted payments based on how many prescriptions doctors wrote, misrepresented patients’ medical histories to dupe insurers into covering Subsys for people without cancer, and even hired a woman who was a former stripper and escort service manager as a key sales executive.

[….]

The criminal case marks a rare instance of the government using the criminal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, to go after corporate executives. The statute was approved in 1970, chiefly to prosecute organized crime figures.

[….]

Kapoor is the most prominent of the five Insys defendants. A 75-year-old shaggy-haired entrepreneur who was raised in India, lives in Phoenix, and was — until recently — on Forbes magazine’s list of billionaires, Kapoor founded Chandler, Ariz.-based Insys in 1990. For more than a decade, he largely funded it out of his own pocket.

If found guilty, Kapoor could get up to 20 years in the slammer.

Much more here.

Pharmaceutical company fraud investigations should be applauded by all Americans, on the political Left and Right, especially as it relates to the deadly opioid crisis destroying lives in middle America.

question markI’m guess that almost everyone knows someone addicted to pain meds?
This story reminds me to remind you to check your medicare statements carefully to be sure some doctor isn’t billing you for meds that you didn’t receive or for an amount larger than you actually were prescribed.  

Michigan: Feds Bust “pay to stay” Foreign Student Immigration Fraud Network

This story should warm your heart—we are nabbing at least some of the cheaters!

This time it was by setting a trap for them with the creation of a fake university with all the trappings of a real college.

univ.offarmington
The feds fake University of Farmington was located in this building says the Detroit News

Thanks to the Detroit News for another juicy story.

Feds used fake Michigan university in immigration sting

Federal agents used a fake university in Farmington Hills to lure alleged phony foreign students who were trying to stay in the United States illegally.

The University of Farmington had no staff, no instructors, no curriculum and no classes but was utilized by undercover Homeland Security agents to identify people involved in immigration fraud, according to federal grand jury indictments unsealed Wednesday.

Eight student recruiters were charged with participating in a conspiracy to help at least 600 foreign citizens stay in the U.S. illegally, according to the indictments, which describe a novel investigation that dates to 2015 but intensified one month into President Donald Trump’s tenure as part of a broader crackdown on illegal immigration.

Simultaneously Wednesday, federal agents arrested dozens of University of Farmington students in a nationwide sweep. The students were arrested on immigration violations and face possible deportation, according to a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Most of the recruiters and students involved are originally from India, according to prosecutors.

“It’s creative and it’s not entrapment,” said Peter Henning, a Wayne State University law professor and former federal prosecutor. “The government can put out the bait, but it’s up to the defendants to fall for it.”

Those charged include:

• Bharath Kakireddy, 29, of Lake Mary, Florida.
• Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta.
• Suresh Reddy Kandala, 31, of Culpeper, Virginia.
• Phanideep Karnati, 35, of Louisville, Kentucky.
• Prem Kumar Rampeesa, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina.
• Santosh Reddy Sama, 28, of Fremont, California.
• Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
• Naveen Prathipati, 29, of Dallas.

[….]

“… the university was being used by foreign citizens as a ‘pay to stay’ scheme which allowed these individuals to stay in the United States as a result of of foreign citizens falsely asserting that they were enrolled as full-time students in an approved educational program and that they were making normal progress toward completion of the course of study,” the indictment reads.

More here.  Please go read it and send traffic to the story because the reporter, Robert Snell, has been doing great work on fraud cases.

question markAre you thinking about this?  As we focus virtually all mainstream media coverage on the crisis at our southern border (yes, it is important), the national media is keeping us in the dark about some huge stories involving illegal immigrants (and legal ones !) who are ripping us off through fraud and other criminal activity that we must suffer and pay for.