Two local tax preparers and the recruiter who brought them victims were sentenced to 30 months in prison yesterday (June 19). Rahim Ali Cummings and Rashad Abdul-Rahim were sentenced for conspiring to commit mail fraud, filing false claims for tax refunds, fraudulent use of Social Security numbers and aggravated identity theft. Ebrahim Ashamu was sentenced for filing false claims for refunds and aggravated identity theft. The three are already in prison,
Cummings and Ashamu worked out of their office in El Cajon. Abdul-Rahim was the recruiter. Among other things, he told victims they could obtain "free" government money from so-called grant programs. They directed Treasury checks be send to mail addresses under their control; Cummings raked in $470,000 and Ashamu $368,000 by such means.
Many of the victims were immigrants from Somalia and Nigeria who were unfamiliar with United States tax laws.