BOSTON – Two Massachusetts men were arrested today in connection with a scheme to defraud the Internal Revenue Service by falsely inflating taxpayer’s federal income tax refunds and diverting a portion of those refunds to accounts they and their co-conspirators controlled.
Boris Shadari, 44, of Swampscott, and Christian Zynga, 45, of Everett, were indicted on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Shadari was additionally charged with three counts of filing a false tax return, three counts of aiding or assisting in filing a false tax return, two counts of theft of government funds, five counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of witness tampering.
According to the charging documents, from 2012 to 2018, Shadari and Zynga held Shadari out as a tax professional, particularly targeting the Congolese community of Greater Boston. Until 2017, they took their customers’ tax information to a tax professional at a tax preparation company, and provided the tax professional with false information concerning their customers’ dependents, dependent and child care expenses and business income and losses in order to inflate the customers’ federal income tax refunds. They then caused the refunds to be split between the customers’ bank accounts and accounts they and their co-conspirators controlled. After 2017, Shadari prepared customers’ returns himself and added false information to the returns to inflate the refunds due. Shadari also allegedly failed to report the income he received from this scheme on his own tax returns.
The charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charges of filing a false tax return and aiding or assisting in filing a false tax return provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of $100,000. The charge of theft of government funds provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of witness tampering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison, consecutive to any sentence received on the other charges. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Joleen D. Simpson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Boston Field Office; and Joseph W. Cronin, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen A. Kearney of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.