December 19th, 2022 – 5:20 PM
US Attorney’s Office Northern District of Georgia –
Mohammed Ajmal, a Cartersville businessman, has been sentenced for making and subscribing to a false tax return. Ajmal failed to report income from over two million dollars in “kickback” payments from the use of coin-operated amusement machines in his service stations and convenience stores.
“Ajmal exploited his relatives in his plan to cheat the IRS out of hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “Ajmal is now headed to federal prison and will be required to pay full restitution as part of his sentence.”
“Consumed by greed, Mohammed Ajmal utilized his family members to hide income generated from kickbacks and filed a false tax return because he failed to report the income,” said James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation will continue to pursue anyone who commits tax fraud. Those harboring ideas on cheating the tax system, take note that prison time is a consequence for such actions.”
“The GBI Commercial Gambling Unit investigated this case along with federal and local partners. This defendant seeking to defraud the government by evading taxes is being held accountable,” said Michael J. Register, Director, of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges, and other information presented in court: Ajmal owned several gas stations and convenience stores in the Cartersville, Georgia, area through various corporations. Many of the stores contained coin-operated amusement machines, known as “COAMs.” COAMs are regulated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation.
Between 2013 and 2015, the Georgia Lottery Corporation issued administrative regulations under Georgia law, which resulted in Ajmal receiving less revenue from the COAMs. In response, Ajmal contacted the company holding the master license for the COAMs and conveyed that the company must pay him additional money, or kickbacks, if the company wished to continue operating COAMs on Ajmal’s properties.
To disguise the kickback payments, Ajmal told the company to write checks to his relatives. Ajmal then used the monies for his own benefit, including building a new home. From 2015 through 2018, the amount of the kickbacks totaled $2,292,847. Ajmal did not report any of this income on his tax returns for 2015 through 2017. So Ajmal paid less federal tax than he actually owed for those years.
Mohammed Ajmal, 49, of Cartersville, Georgia, has been sentenced to two years in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $734,232.05. Ajmal was convicted of making and subscribing to a false tax return on July 12, 2022, after he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, with valuable assistance provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, Cartersville Police Department, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia Lottery Corporation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alana Black and Michael Herskowitz prosecuted the case.