NYS tax preparer pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud

NYS tax preparer pleads guilty to criminal tax fraud

Moses Kuwema

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, along with the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, Friday announced that Yehad Abdelaziz and his corporation The Five Pillars Financial Services, LTD, pleaded guilty to criminal tax fraud.

A Tax Department investigation determined that between March 2015 and August 2017 Abdelaziz received money from business owners and filed sales tax returns on their behalf. 

However, he underreported sales or reported zero gross sales and instead pocketed the sales tax payments his clients entrusted him to remit on their behalf.

“We will continue to aggressively pursue unscrupulous tax preparers who betray the trust of clients and deprive communities and the state of revenue needed for vital services,” said New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael Schmidt.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “Tax preparers who cheat don’t only shortchange their clients, but effectively steal from all of us. They must be held accountable and pay restitution to victims. My Office will continue to work with our partners to prosecute tax fraud and other forms of larceny schemes.”

Abdelaziz and The Five Pillars Financial Services, LTD, paid more than $191,000 in restitution. 

The payment includes the forfeiture of more than $6,700 that was seized as part of a search warrant executed by the Tax Department. 

Both Abdelaziz and his corporation are also prohibited from providing tax preparation services of any kind for one year.