Man Guilty for Failing to File Foreign Bank Account Reports 

Man Guilty for Failing to File Foreign Bank Account Reports

Man Guilty for Failing to File Foreign Bank Account Reports 

Man Guilty for Failing to File Foreign Bank Account Reports: While ordinarily Taxpayers who violate FBAR (Foreign Bank and Financial Account Reporting Form FinCEN Form 114) are only subject to civil violations — criminal violations do occur. In a recent case, the defendant pleaded guilty in Federal Court for criminally failing to file a foreign bank account report on FinCEN Form 114. It is important to note that Taxpayer’s FBAR filing history was haphazard. It appears at some point he did file FBAR and identify three accounts (so he was aware of the FBAR) — but then did not continue filing FBAR in subsequent years, despite the fact that he was actively transferring money between a New Hampshire bank account and his foreign bank accounts. Making matters worse, was the fact that the Defendant’s Tax Preparer had informed Defendant’s bookkeeper about the FBAR filing requirement — which defendant acknowledged on his tax returns — but did not file for several years.

As provided by the Department of Justice:

Windham Man Pleads Guilty to Failure to File a Foreign Bank Account Report

      • CONCORD – Georges Mazraani, 57, of Windham, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday to willful failing to file a foreign bank account report, Acting United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today

      •  According to court documents and statements made in court, federal law requires that a U.S. person having a financial interest in, or signature or other authority over, a bank or other financial account in a foreign country, must file a Foreign Bank Account Report (“FBAR”) with the Treasury Department identifying each foreign account if the aggregate balance of all foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 at any point in the calendar year.  FBAR information is used by the federal government in criminal, tax, or regulatory investigations or proceedings.  A willful failure to file a required FBAR is a felony.

      •  Defendant Mazraani owned and operated Dot Square, a New Hampshire corporation that exported computers and related goods primarily to Lebanon.  He also had a financial interest in bank accounts held in Lebanon, from which he sometimes wired money to Dot Square’s bank account held in Salem, New Hampshire.  For calendar year 2012, Mazraani filed an FBAR identifying three accounts in Lebanon.  During the years 2013 through 2017, however, Mazraani did not file FBARs, even though he had an interest in at least one Lebanese bank account holding more than $10,000 during each of those years.  For example, in calendar year 2017, $554,245 was wired, in 13 separate wire transmissions, from Mazraani’s account at a bank in Beirut to Dot Square’s business checking account in New Hampshire.  Although Mazraani’s tax preparer advised the defendant’s bookkeeper about the FBAR filing requirement and Mazraani acknowledged on his 2016 and 2017 tax returns that he was required to file an FBAR, he nevertheless failed to file the report. 

      • Mazraani is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14, 2022.

      •  “Failing to file a Foreign Bank Account Report is a federal crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Farley.  “By failing to file these reports from 2013 to 2017, the defendant concealed information about foreign bank accounts that he was required to disclose.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who commit tax crimes and other financial offenses.”

      • “The law requires companies who use our country’s financial system to provide financial institutions with truthful information about their business operations, but Georges Mazraani admitted today that he knowingly and willfully failed to do that, over the course of five years. In fact, he went out of his way to conceal his bank accounts in Lebanon, despite a reminder from his bookkeeper,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “The FBI will not hesitate to aggressively investigate companies who are doing business in the United States but failing to adhere to our laws.”

      • “The accurate reporting of foreign bank accounts ensures fairness and integrity in the U.S. tax system. By his own admission today, Mr. Mazraani deliberately avoided his reporting requirements in an attempt to hide assets. As a result of his actions, he is now subject to a federal felony conviction,” said Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Field Office. 

      • This matter was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, the Department of Commerce, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Davis.

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