THREE PROFESSIONAL TAX PREPARERS IN QUEENS CHARGED WITH FRAUD FOR FILING FALSE RETURNS THAT CHEATED CITY AND STATE
Defendants Worked at Two Unrelated Businesses in Flushing and Woodside; The Accused Allegedly Forged Signatures and Outright Lied on Returns to Downplay Tax Liability for Clients
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Michael R. Schmidt, today announce that Yachun Lin of ETS Tax Services and Nayib Chabur and Maria Isabel Chabur of La Oficina en Astoria have been charged with criminal tax fraud, forgery and other crimes for allegedly knowingly including false information on tax returns that lowered the tax burden for clients while also cheating the City and State out of thousands of dollars.
District Attorney Katz said, “We are now in the midst of tax season when thousands of people will seek assistance in filing their tax returns. Tax-payers must always be careful when hiring someone to handle their finances. Unscrupulous action taken by a preparer could lead to serious liabilities for individuals. The three defendants in these two separate cases allegedly used lies and falsehoods to decrease what their clients owed in taxes. But, due to the diligence of investigators with the NY State Department of Tax and Finance and the Queens District Attorney’s Crime Against Revenue Unit these defendants will be held to account for their alleged actions.”
Commissioner Schmidt said, “Hard-working New Yorkers entrust their tax preparer to operate in their best interest—and with integrity and honesty. Tax preparers who abuse that trust are imperiling their clients, who are ultimately responsible for the returns they sign, and depriving the state of tax revenue for vital services. I thank District Attorney Katz for her efforts on this case and will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to ensure tax preparers who break the law are held accountable.”
Lin, 53, of 68th Drive in Flushing, Queens, was arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge David Kirschner on a complaint charging her with criminal tax fraud in the fifth degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, attempted grand larceny in the third and fourth degree and forgery in the second degree. Judge Kirschner order the defendant to return to Court on April 27, 2021. If convicted, Lin faces up to 18 years in prison.
According to the charges, on March 22, 2019, an undercover investigator met with the defendant at ETS Tax Services on Main Street in Flushing. Identifying himself with a fictitious name, the undercover provided Lin with a social security number, a Brooklyn home address and W-2 forms. He told the defendant that he needed tax returns completed for 2017 and 2018.
DA Katz said, Lin looked over the man’s tax return for 2016 and stated he owed so much money because his employer did not withhold City taxes from his paycheck. The defendant allegedly suggested the man use the address of a friend or family member who lives outside of New York City – stating this would save him $2,000 per year. The undercover came up with a Westchester County address and defendant Lin allegedly filled out his tax returns using the address she knew was not his residence. She also allegedly forged her client’s signature on the return – and left the space for a professional tax preparer’s information blank.
The bogus information on the tax return, according to the charges, allowed the “client” to hold on to $2,156 for 2016 and $2,319 in 2017.
Defendant Maria Isabel Chabur, 49, and her husband Nayib Chabur, 62, both of 69th Street in Woodside, Queens, were also arraigned last night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Kirschner on a complaint charging them with criminal tax fraud in the fifth degree, offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree, attempted petit larceny, conspiracy in the fifth degree and forgery in the second degree. Judge Kirschner ordered the pair to return to Court on April 19, 2021. If convicted, the Chaburs face up to nine years in prison.
According to the charges in the Chaburs’ case, an undercover investigator on March 27, 2019, entered La Oficina En Astoria on 69th Street in Woodside, Queens, and asked for assistance filing a tax return for 2018. This investigator, who used a fictitious name, provided a social security number, W-2 form and a tax return for the previous year.
DA Katz said, Defendants Maria Isabel and Nayib Chabur filed a tax return on behalf of the undercover officer allegedly including a $5,500 IRA deduction that was not true and not even discussed with the filer. Chabur is accused of also signing for her “client” and leaving the required space for professional tax preparer signature blank. The alleged scheme only saved the undercover officer just under $500.
The District Attorney would like to thank everyone with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their assistance in the investigation.
Assistant District Attorney Marnie Lobel, Unit Chief within the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Joseph Conley, Bureau Chief, Herman Wun, Deputy Bureau Chief, and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Investigations Gerard A. Brave.
**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.