Former Lansing Resident Qasim I. Verser Pleads Guilty to Federal Tax Charge
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—On December 21, 2015, Qasim I. Verser, 25, a former resident of Lansing Michigan, pled guilty in federal court to having obtained more than $190,000 from the United States Treasury in 2012 and 2013 by causing false federal tax returns to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles announced today. His scheme involved deceiving citizens into providing their personal identification information by promising them “free stimulus money.” The tax returns typically contained false reporting of undocumented income and abusive use of the Earned Income credit.
U.S. Attorney Miles affirmed his commitment to pursing “stolen identity fraud cases” as a high priority for his office. “When someone cheats on a federal tax return, they are hurting all honest taxpayers in the Western District of Michigan and beyond.”
Complaints by local citizens prompted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to open a criminal investigation which included obtaining multiple search warrants to seize evidence of a tax fraud scheme. During the multi-year investigation, more than 50 subpoenas were issued to track down the tax refunds which had been paid into numerous bank accounts. In some instances, the personal identification information was used to file a tax return in a successive year. In an earlier prosecution, defendant Verser’s aunt, Taka Chiwocha-Crowell, pled guilty to filing false tax returns and was sentenced to 42 months’ incarceration. Verser’s sentencing has been scheduled for May 2, 2016 before Chief U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker.
The investigation was conducted by Special Agent Rod Charles, Lansing FBI, and Special Agent Paula Wood, Lansing IRS Criminal Investigations, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael A. MacDonald.