COLUMBUS, OHIO (WBNS) — Mustafa Shalash, of Hillard, Ohio, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return with the Internal Revenue Service.
Shalash won $1,000,000 on a single lottery ticket in 2015, according to court documents. He was paid $710,000, with $290,000 in taxes withheld. Shalash declared $1,069,100 in gaming winnings and $1,069,100 in gambling losses on his 2015 tax return. Shalash was well aware that his true gaming losses were under $300,000. Shalash sent $690,000 abroad to hide his gambling gains, including $440,000 to a Jordanian bank account under his control.
Shalash had as much as 409,000–645,803 Dinar (roughly $576,077–$909,614) in a foreign bank account in Jordan from 2014 to 2019. Shalash gathered money in foreign bank accounts by transferring more than $10,000 in monies across the US border on many occasions, in addition to sending lottery prizes abroad. Shalash bought a $19,000 cashier’s check on July 8, 2015, and flew to Jordan to deposit the cheque into his Jordanian bank account. Shalash bought two cashier’s checks for $15,000 and $25,000 in April 2016, then flew to Jordan to deposit them in his Jordanian bank account. Shalash failed to file the requisite Form 105, Report in any of the cases.
Shalash also failed to mention his offshore bank account on his 2015 tax return. Shalash stated that he did not have a foreign bank account on his tax return. Shalash overstated his gambling losses on his 2015 tax return, resulting in a tax loss to the IRS of $255,967.
“Hiding bank accounts overseas and misrepresenting losses on a tax return is a recipe for criminal tax prosecution,” said Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office. “The IRS Criminal Investigation Division will continue to devote significant resources to and vigorously investigate criminal tax fraud.”
A maximum penalty of three years in prison is imposed for filing a fake income tax return.