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IRSSemere Tsehaye, who owned at last 20 Instant Tax Service stores in three states, has been sentenced to 27 months in prison. Tsehaye, age 39, was convicted on two counts of tax evasion in October for understating income from two tax businesses that operated his ITS locations.

ITS, which had been the country's fourth-largest tax franchise, was ordered to close in late 2013 because of widespread tax filing fraud. Tsehaye operated his ITS locations via two entities, A&S Tax Service and ERI Enterprises, in Illinois, Kansas and Missouri from 2005 to 2011
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Court records show that in 2010 and 2011, Tsehaye provided low-ball numbers for the two companies' gross receipts to his tax preparer, who prepared returns that were then filed with the IRS. The revenue was understated by $547,895 in 2010 and $1.03 million in 2011, while enabled Tsehaye to evade paying $581,264 in taxes.

Besides receiving the prison term, Tsehaye was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and to pay $298,178 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Last modified on Monday, 13 February 2017
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