ARIZONA NEWS

Mesa man and relative charged with multiple counts of tax fraud

Jan 23, 2023, 4:25 AM | Updated: 7:46 am

(Photo by David Inderlied/Getty Images)...

(Photo by David Inderlied/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Inderlied/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — An East Valley man and his relative have been accused of conspiring to defraud the IRS and commit wire fraud, authorities said.

Walid Khater of Mesa, 37, and Omar Khater of New Jersey, 32, were each charged last week with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and one count of aggravated identity theft, the U.S. District Court of New Jersey said in a press release.

Walid and Omar, who was a tax preparer in New Jersey, allegedly worked together between approximately May 2018 and August 2022 to steal identities to make false tax returns and then fraudulently receive funds from the IRS, according to court documents.

The two are accused of submitting documents saying the taxpayer had earned certain income or won thousands – and in some cases millions – of dollars in gambling and lottery winnings.

The filings claimed withholdings on the income or gambling winnings that entitled the tax filer to refund payments from the IRS, according to court documents.

The Khaters received nearly $4.5 million from the IRS in refunds, according to prosecutors.

If convicted, each man could serve up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud conspiracy, five years for conspiracy to defraud the IRA and two years for each count of aggravated identity theft.

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Mesa man and relative charged with multiple counts of tax fraud