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MADISON - The Hon. Judge John Markson, a Dane County Circuit Court Judge, today sentenced Elfatih Ibrahim, age 44, to five years probation, with one year in the county jail and restitution, for felony tax fraud related offenses. Ibrahim, a Waukesha County resident who operates a Wauwatosa area convenience store/gas station, had previously entered pleas to filing a false and fraudulent tax return (one count) and theft of sales tax proceeds (two counts) on October 31, 2009.
"Individuals who engage in tax fraud not only deprive the state of critical revenue, they also undermine law abiding business owners who play by the rules," said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute criminals who defraud the state."
The criminal complaint alleges that Ibrahim operated a business known as Midtown Shell Mart, in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin with his spouse, Soha Shanaa. The Wisconsin Department of Revenue (DOR) examined tax returns and other business records associated with the business. According to the complaint, Ibrahim failed to pay misappropriated sales tax proceeds that were collected and required to be deposited with the DOR. According to the complaint, the amount of the alleged loss in sales tax proceeds for the period from July 2002 through April 2006 is approximately $138,000. In addition, based upon the audit of the business records, the DOR also concluded that Ibrahim filed a false and fraudulent personal income tax return.
In a related manner, the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office filed a complaint against Soha Shanaa in Waukesha County Circuit Court, charging her with two counts of filing a false and fraudulent income tax return and one count of public assistance fraud based on a failure to notify authorities of a change of facts. She was previously sentenced to probation with county jail time for those offenses.
The court placed Ibrahim on probation for a period of 4 years with respect to count 1 and 5 years with respect to counts 2 & 3. The probationary terms will be served concurrently with one another. With respect to count 2, the court ordered Ibrahim to serve one year in the county jail with Huber privileges as a condition of probation. Other conditions of probation include payment of restitution and compliance with other conditions of supervision related to the operation of his business.
Ibrahim faced a maximum punishment of 6 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $10,000. With respect to the theft of sales tax proceeds, Ibrahim faces a maximum punishment of 10 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $25,000 as to each count.
The Wisconsin DOR investigated the tax case against Ibrahim. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecuted the case against Ibrahim.
Assistant Attorney General Donald Latorraca is representing the State.