Business owner, bookkeeper charged with $1 million credit card s - FOX 32 News Chicago

Business owner, bookkeeper charged with $1 million credit card scheme

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - A suburban businessman and his bookkeeper are facing federal charges after they swindled customers, credit card companies and banks by fraudulently charging client accounts for services that were never provided, the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office said Tuesday.

The defendants, Viet Nguyen and Adelina Miguel, will be arraigned Thursday. They each face one count of wire fraud and tax evasion, the state’s attorney’s office said.

The two worked together and cheated credit card companies out of approximately $1.2 million and evaded their personal federal income tax obligations of more than $1.5 million, the statement said.

Nguyen, 41, of St. Charles, owned and operated various companies, including Expedite Media Group, VB Management Holding Company, Inc. and Pure Small Business, the statement said. Miguel, 37, of Joliet, was the office manager and bookkeeper for those companies and managed payroll and credit card charges.

Nguyen and Miguel had the companies pay for their personal expenses, including payments for a Rolls Royce, Bentley, Hummer, Ferrari, Land Rover, two Audis, among other vehicles, the statement said. Nguyen directed Miguel to enter payments for personal expenses as business expenses in the companies’ ledgers to avoid reporting the payments as personal income on their tax returns, according to the indictment.

Nguyen directed Miguel and other staff to make fraudulent charges to meet daily sales quotas that Miguel knew could not be met without charging for services that were not provided, the state’s attorney’s office said.

As part of the scheme, Nguyen opened new companies so that he could fraudulently obtain new merchant accounts, according to the statement. There were so many customer complaints about fraudulent charges that Nguyen’s merchant accounts were frequently cancelled, and Nguyen incorporated new companies to get around that problem, the state’s attorney’s office alleges.

Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or an alternate fine of twice the loss or gain—whichever is greater, according to the state’s attorney’s office. Tax evasion carries a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Anyone who thinks they might be a victim to contact an Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation agent at (630) 493-5224.

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