A man who was temporarily serving as a tax evader in a federal prison has been filing tax returns for customers with a smuggled smartphone, transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars in compensation to accounts he controls, authorities said.
Abdel Soliman, 54, was arrested on Monday on charges of conspiracy to commit felony criminal mischief. According to the arrest warrant issued in the arrest warrant, he took more than $ 470,000 from clients in 2018-2019 while he was imprisoned in the minimum security camp of the Federal Penitentiary in Luisburg.
“Everything is a cylinder, that’s not right,” said Mr. Soliman in an interview this week, who is free with a $ 600,000 bond.
Mr Soliman said he had never had a mobile phone while in prison, adding that the arrest warrant was based on the testimony of another prisoner who wanted to be released early.
“You would not believe how many phones there are in the federal prison camps,” said Mr. Soliman. “They are everywhere.”
Mr. Soliman’s lawyer Louis M. The remaining messages to Freeman were not returned.
A certificate issued by a special agent of the Criminal Investigation Department says that while he was serving a 41-month sentence for a $ 2.9 million tax fraud scheme, Mr. Soliman used a smuggled cell phone to commit the same crime. Mr. Soliman filled out tax returns for customers on his phone, kept some of their tax returns by sending lower-yield documents to customers, the certificate said.
The document states that some clients did not know that the IRS paid compensation on their behalf, and at least one client stated that they were not aware that Mr. Soliman was in custody at the time. The IRS interviewed 11 people who said Mr. Soliman had been deceived and found out that he had taken more than $ 36,000 from them.
In other cases, according to the document, the IRS found that Mr. Soliman had collected about $ 900 in “rent” that he had levied on his clients’ tax refunds without notifying them. The money was transferred to an account that Mr. Soliman controlled with the help of anonymous “partners,” the document said.
The IRS investigator also accused Mr. Egypt-born U.S. citizen. Soliman’s money laundering from his clients – $ 150,000 in Egypt – 40 more than $ 40,000 in Europe.
According to the certificate, the Federal Bureau of Prisons provided the IRS with photos of the iPhone 6S, which were confiscated from Mr. Soliman on May 9, with his contact details. The document states that the authorities were not able to search the device further because its data was “deleted remotely during the inventory process.”
Federal records state that Mr. Soliman was released from prison on October 9, and the statement said he was due to be released by 2023.
In 2003, he was found guilty of attempted smuggling $ 659,000 from the country at Kennedy International Airport and sentenced to 30 months in prison.
Convicts’ use of cell phones, including during crimes, has been a growing concern, although the devices have been banned in federal prisons since 2010. The New York Times reported earlier this year that inmates at an Alabama jail had used illegal cell phones to extort money from families of inmates.
In a statement, Federal Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Just Astin Long said the agency “continues to address the issue of smuggling into our facilities, including smuggled cell phones.”
Mr Long said he could not talk about Mr Soliman’s case or say how common it was for prisoners to use cell phones to commit crimes. According to him, the federal prisons use metal detectors, devices that measure the whole body to find such devices.