A man who operated several tax preparation businesses has been sentenced to 11 years in federal prison after he was convicted of defrauding clients and the Internal Revenue Service.

Abdul Wahid, 57, owner of Global Accounting and Tax Service in Los Angeles, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George Wu. In addition to the prison term, Wahid will be ordered to pay restitution. Wu will determine the amount after a hearing scheduled for Feb. 9, but the government has asked the judge to order Wahid to pay more than $2 million to his victims.

Wahid pleaded guilty last year to three counts of mail fraud, one count of theft of government property, one count of aggravated identity theft and five counts of attempted tax evasion. He used the money obtained through the scheme to finance a lavish lifestyle, according to court papers filed by the government.

As part of his scheme to defraud clients of his tax return preparation business, Wahid formed companies with names like Internal Recovery System, or IRS, along with other names such as FTB, EDD and BOE that were all acronyms for government tax agencies.

After Wahid prepared personal and business tax returns that usually showed thousands of dollars of taxes due, he instructed clients to write checks for the amounts due made out to the appropriate taxing authority or to Wahid personally. But instead of submitting the checks to the appropriate taxing agency, he deposited the checks into bank accounts he controlled - for example, his "IRS" account.

Wahid also failed to file his own personal federal income tax returns for the years 2002 through 2006 in an attempt to evade the payment of nearly $1 million in federal income taxes. In addition, he received a tax refund check from a false tax return he filed under the name of a person whose identity he had stolen.

He has been in custody since Nov. 26, when he was arrested for violating the terms of his bond by continuing to operate his scheme, even though he had pleaded guilty 10 months earlier.

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI and the Social Security Administration collaborated on the investigation.

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