Things to Avoid

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There are a few things that family medicine practitioner Dr. Ahmad Ismail of Bonifay, Fla., should have avoided. He shouldn’t have lied on two years of tax returns, nor should he have forgotten to live by the physician ethical principle of “do no harm.” The 70-year-old man is now facing time behind bars during his “Golden Years” for committing tax fraud.

Ismail filed false federal income tax returns for the years 2017 and 2018. He intentionally underreported his gross income by thousands of dollars per year, leaving out the income he received in cash from his patients during that time. (He figured that what the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) didn’t see, wouldn’t hurt them.)

In 2020, Ismail was served a federal search warrant for his residence. Investigators found $39,000 in cash along with cash receipts from his practice totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. (With all that cash lying around, you would think he’d spend $50 on a reliable shredder.)

The IRS suffered an estimated loss of more than $100,000 as a result of Ismail’s tax fraud scheme. Ismail attempted to lessen his tax burden by lying, thinking he would get away with it. (Most fraudsters are overconfident when it comes to thinking they won’t get caught.) 

Ismail pleaded guilty to the subscription and transmission of multiple fraudulent federal income tax returns. He is scheduled for sentencing in January 2022. (What a way to start off a new year. I’m sure prison was not on his bucket list for retirement.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Bonifay Doctor Pleads Guilty to Federal Income Tax Crimes,” dated November 5, 2021.

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Ahmad T. Ismail, 70, of Bonifay, Florida, pled guilty on Wednesday to the subscription and transmission of multiple fraudulent federal income tax returns, announced Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida.

“The United States relies on the payment of taxes to defend our country and maintain its operations,” stated Acting United States Attorney Coody. “We remain committed to the investigation and prosecution of those who falsely misrepresent their income – whether by traditional evasion or the filing of fraudulent tax income returns.”

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.