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Man pleads guilty to scheme targeting Congolese immigrants

March 31, 2022 GMT

BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts man pleaded guilty Thursday to a tax scheme targeting Congolese immigrants in greater Boston.

Federal prosecutors said Boris Shadari, 46, of Swampscott, fraudulently posed as a tax professional and falsely inflated the federal income tax refunds of his clients in order to enrich himself.

He pleaded guilty in Boston federal court to a range of charges including conspiracy to defraud the U.S., filing a false tax return, aggravated identity theft and witness tampering.

Shadari is slated to be sentenced in July. His co-conspirator, Christian Zynga, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and will be sentenced in June.

U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said in a statement that Shadari is a member of the Congolese community but “grossly exploited hardworking, vulnerable” people who believed him to be trustworthy.

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Joseph Bonavolonta, who heads the FBI’s Boston office, said the case is a reminder that residents should carefully evaluate people offering tax or financial advice with tax season underway.

Prosecutors say Shadari posed as a tax professional but then brought his clients’ tax information to a tax preparation company.

They say he added false information about the customers’ dependents, childcare expenses and business income to inflate their tax refunds. Shadari then took a share of the refund.