D.C. tax return preparer sentenced to 14 months in prison for carrying out tax scheme

 

Date: November 17, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

WASHINGTON — Yohanness Ayechew of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to 14 months in prison for aiding and assisting in the filing of a false tax return and causing at least $250,000 of loss to the Internal Revenue Service.

The sentencing was announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves and Darrell J. Waldon, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Washington Field Office.

Ayechew pleaded guilty in August 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable John D. Bates. The judge also ordered him to pay restitution to the IRS as well as a $10,000 fine.

According to court documents, Ayechew, a Certified Public Accountant in Virginia, operated Endalk and Yohannes Associated, L.P. with a business partner, Endalkachew Asfaw, in the District of Columbia since 2011. From 2016 through 2019, Ayechew and Asfaw prepared approximately 10,000 tax returns.

According to court documents, Ayechew knowingly aided and assisted in the preparation of false income tax returns for years 2014 through 2017 on behalf of his clients. Ayechew did this by deliberately overstating unreimbursed employee business expenses on his clients' Schedule A deductions, including uniforms and unreimbursed mileage expenses. As part of his plea, Ayechew also admitted to creating fraudulent Schedule C expenses and deducting exemptions for individuals that his clients were not entitled to claim. Ayechew admitted to fabricating these items to generate larger tax refunds for his clients.

As part of his plea, Ayechew admitted that he filed false tax returns resulting in a total tax loss of more than $250,000 to the U.S. government.

Asfaw, 38, of Alexandria, Va., also pleaded guilty in August 2021. Judge Bates sentenced Asfaw today to three years of probation, including a year to be spent on home detention. He also was ordered to pay restitution to the IRS.

In announcing the sentences, U.S. Attorney Graves and Special Agent in Charge Waldon commended the work IRS Criminal Investigation, Washington Field Office, which investigated the case. They also acknowledged the work of those who handled the case at the U.S. Attorney's Office, including Paralegal Specialist Mariela Andrade and Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie A. Goemaat, who prosecuted the matter.