Posted on March 3, 2010 | Category: Politics; Business, Sport
SHERMAN, Texas – A Zimbabwean man who conspired with four compatriots to
commit tax fraud amounting to millions of dollars in the United States was
on Friday jailed for five years.
The convicted man, Simbarashe Soko, who conspired with, among others,
Karimanjira-Dumba Made, the son of Joseph Made, Zimbabwe’s Minister of
Agricultural Mechanisation, was also ordered to undergo three years
supervised release and pay restitution of $3 097 822.65.
He was convicted after he changed his plea to guilty. He was arrested along
with four others following an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) Criminal Investigation in Dallas in 2008.
Previously, Soko had denied the charge.
Changing his plea to guilty, he said: “I secured loan proceeds from banks
through which I, or others acting on my behalf, established a business
relationship. The banks extended the loans in anticipation of the receipt of
tax refunds based on my false representations that the tax refund claims
“I, or others acting on my behalf, cashed the checks representing the tax
refunds or tax refund anticipation loans. Three banks, J.P Morgan Chase,
Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, and HSBC, suffered combined actual losses of
$2 253 207. The United States (IRS) suffered an actual loss of $844 615.”
Soko committed the fraud together with Ransom Nyamaharo, Ronald Moyo and
Fellow Zimbabweans in Dallas have confirmed that Made is the son of the
The son is now serving a sentence of 60 months in a federal prison for tax
fraud after he was convicted by a jury on January 16 last year. Nyamaharo
(24) of Plano, Texas, was sentenced to 10 years for the same crime.
The facts presented by the prosecution were that from 2005 to 2008,
Karimanjira Made, Soko, Moyo and Nyamaharo opened and operated a tax
preparation businesses in which they prepared and filed fraudulent tax
returns on behalf of clients.
They also prepared and filed tax returns in the names of individuals whose
personal identifying information had been obtained and used without
Nyamaharo, Soko, Moyo and Made established business relationships with
several banks which offered refund anticipation loans. The false claims for
income tax refunds were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service and also
to the banks.
The banks, relying upon the accuracy of the information provided to them,
authorized the issuance of loans secured by the false income tax refund
The Internal Revenue Service and the banks incurred substantial losses as a
result of the payments made on the false claims for federal income tax
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal
Investigation Division and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randall A.
Blake and Shamoil Shipchandler.
A source knowledgeable about the fraud case said the police were summoned to
investigate a complaint by a hotel guest about excessive noise at night
emanating from another hotel room in the city of Sherman back in 2008.
The room was one of a number that had been booked by a group of Zimbabweans.
On entering the room to investigate the source of the noise, the police were
surprised to find several people inside, each armed with a laptop. They also
found a large number of social security cards in the room. Their suspicion
immediately aroused, they seized the laptops and cards and took away one of
the people in the room back to the police station.
The man’s name appeared on a list of suspects wanted by the police in
connection with a major tax fraud case. By the time the police arrived back
at the hotel some of the group had already checked out with some reportedly
making immediate arrangements to travel back to Zimbabwe.
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