CHICAGO – A Palos Heights tax preparer is accused of assisting customers in obtaining millions of dollars in loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Hadi Isbaih, 39, is charged with four counts of wire fraud.
Isbaih owned and operated Flash Tax Service Inc. a tax and investment consulting firm at 87th Street and Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview. According to the federal indictment, Isbaih submitted hundreds of Flash Tax customers PPP and EIDI falsified applications about customers’ businesses, such as gross revenue, expenses and number of employees. Through his false statements and misrepresentations, the feds allege that Isbaih steered millions of dollars of fraudulent PPP and EIDL loans and grants to Flash Tax clients.
The indictment further stated that Osbaih charged clients several hundred dollars upfront before submitting the fraudulent applications on his clients’ behalf. If the clients received PPP or EIDL funds based on the applications, Isbaih charged customers an additional fee of $1,000, the feds said.
“These programs were developed to help out small business owners survive the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” FBI SAC Buie said in a news release. “It’s unfortunate someone thought to take advantage of these programs.”
The indictment was returned Monday in the Northern District of Illinois. Isbaih appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth W. Jantz. If convicted, each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.
Anyone with information about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it to the Department of Justice by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721, or by completing a NCDF online complaint form.
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