‘SoCal Tax Consultants’ Going to the Slammer

     SAN DIEGO (CN) – Two San Diego-area men who exploited homeless people and drug addicts to defraud the IRS of hundreds of thousands of dollars were sentenced Friday to less than a year in federal prison.
     Isaiah Konkus and Justin Petersen, both 38, were each sentenced to 10 months in prison for conspiracy and filing a false tax return, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Each was ordered to pay $268,832 in restitution to the IRS. Konkus is from San Diego, Petersen from Lakeside.
     “Konkus and Petersen sought out low-income ‘customers,’ including the homeless, single mothers and addicts by soliciting them at trolley stations, homeless shelters and other places in downtown San Diego … asked whether they wanted ‘free money from the government,'” then had them sign blank tax returns, prosecutors said in a statement. Then they filed bogus tax returns for up to $8,000 in earned income credits per return, and skimmed up to $2,500 from each one.
     “Konkus and Petersen filed more than 1,000 tax returns, spending their ill-gotten gains on luxuries including illegal drugs, a Humvee, a sport fishing trip and a stay in the most expensive suite at a luxury hotel in the Gaslamp District of San Diego on New Year’s Eve,” the U.S. attorney said in the statement.
     The men called their business Street Angels and SoCal Tax Consultants.

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