Walter Mencken 2 p.m., Aug. 22
Tax Preparer Gets 11 Years in Slammer
Saleh Mahmoud Zahran was sentenced today (April 8) to 11 years in prison for income tax evasion, multiple filings of false claims, conspiracy, aggravated identity theft, Medi-Cal fraud and witness tampering, following a two-week trial in federal court. He filed 40 fraudulent federal tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service and received more than $81,000 in refunds. He also evaded $245,000 in federal tax for the years 1997-2004 by holding bank accounts and property under false names and fraudulently obtaining Social Security numbers, among other things. He obtained Social Security numbers for false identities for several family members. He also fraudulently understated his financial status to get medical care under Medi-Cal in 2002. He also fraudulently obtained food stamps and subsidized housing benefits.