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CPA, brother guilty of helping gas station owners avoid sales tax

Two northwest suburban men have pleaded guilty to preparing fraudulent tax returns for eight gas station owners to evade paying $5 million in sales tax, according to a release from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Naveed Ahmed, a CPA from Arlington Heights, pleaded guilty Friday to wire fraud, mail fraud and preparing fraudulent tax returns, the release said. His brother, Asif Waheed, who is not a CPA, also pleaded guilty last week.

Ahmed owns Midwest Financial Services accounting firm and Waheed worked for his brother, the release said. The firm has been in business since the mid-1990s and is allegedly known among gas station owners for lowering owed sales tax.

The brothers pleaded guilty to falsifying sales figures on the gas stations’ monthly tax returns, the release said. Some gas station owners provided incomplete information and Waheed fabricated sales numbers for them.

A complaint filed Monday against the Ahmed brothers asked for the maximum $5,000 fine for each violation of the Public Accounting Act, the release said. They were also sentenced to two years of felony probation under the condition they continue to cooperate with authorities, the release said.

The gas stations involved in the scheme also have pleaded guilty and repaid the state more than $5 million, the release said.

The arrests were the result of an ongoing joint investigation between the attorney general’s office and the Illinois Department of Revenue which has resulted in the payment of almost $75 million in lost state revenue.



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