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How a Group of Convenience Store Owners Were Arrested in One Sweep

tax_fraud_180x120-150x119According to an article in WPTV News, a sweep of 13 convenience stores and service stations across South Florida resulted in 23 arrests on Thursday. Michael Driscoll of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said, “They identified this group that has been defrauding the state of sales taxes and other taxes.”

The Florida Department of Revenue launched an investigation after detecting low sales on sales tax returns from the group. The investigation took three and a half years.

Mohammed Khan, 53, of Delray Beach, is the alleged head of the scam along with his wife Jharna Kahn, 47. Khan’s number two man, Mansural Islam and his wife Pervin Begam were booked along with five suburban Boca Raton residents into the Palm Beach County Jail.

“They would take the money in from the customer, but never paid the state the required amount, and that is why the total amounted to about a million dollars over time,” said Driscoll, “the subjects who were arrested either control or own over a hundred stores and those stores are all over Florida, as well as into other states.”

The group, made up of Bangladeshi natives, now faces racketeering and numerous other fraud related charges.

Fraud Defense

Theft of more than $100,000 by fraud is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years and a $10,000 fine.

An experienced criminal defense lawyer will have extensive experience representing people charged with fraud crimes, including mortgage fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud, tax evasion, insider trading, theft by fraudulent means, writing bad checks, and organized schemes to defraud.

In Florida, most fraud changes involve the Economic Crimes Division (ECD) putting together a great amount of evidence for presentation before a grand jury. The best way to resolve these cases is for your criminal defense lawyer to have a good working relationship with the prosecutor and to try to avoid any serious consequences by paying restitution.

In Florida, restitution outweighs incarceration, so if your criminal defense lawyer can persuade the victim to drop charges in favor of receiving their money back, you can usually avoid a conviction.

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