Indian-origin pharmacist guilty in $4 mn US tax fraud

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New York, March 6 (IANS) An Indian-origin pharmacist has admitted to conspiring with two others in an income tax fraud of $4 million and now faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail, according to a federal prosecutor.

Ajay Barthwal, 43, admitted participating in the tax evasion conspiracy before federal Judge William J. Martini in Newark, New Jersey, federal prosecutor Craig Carpenito said on Tuesday.

Dilip Naik and Bhavesh Mistry, also of Indian-origin, who were silent partners in a pharmacy with Barthwal, have already admitted to their role in the conspiracy, according to the prosecutors.

The three hid $9 million that their pharmacy in New Jersey took in between 2009 and 2011 from tax authorities and evaded $4 million in taxes, the prosecutor’s office said.

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To hide their income from the pharmacy, they deposited only a part of the proceeds into the business account and siphoned off the rest by encashing cheques.

Cheque-cashing businesses in the US pay cash for cheques after taking a commission to facilitate people without bank accounts.

(Arul Louis can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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