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California man admits fraud, bogus tax returns for athletes

Justice (FILE)
Posted at 6:58 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 21:58:38-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The head of a California tax preparation business has admitted his role in fraud schemes totaling $25 million that included exaggerated tax returns for professional athletes and exploiting federal pandemic relief programs, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Seir Robinson Havana, 46, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering charges, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.

As CEO of Mana Tax Services, Mana represented himself to pro athletes as an expert in the tax code who could get them big refunds.

He admitted as part of his plea agreement to submitting tax returns on behalf of nine different athletes that grossly inflated the returns to which they were entitled. The athletes were not named.

Havana also submitted fraudulent loan applications under the government’s Paycheck Protection Program on behalf of multiple companies.

Prosecutors estimate the tax fraud and loan fraud combined cost taxpayers around $25 million.

Havana faces more than 20 years in federal prison when he's sentenced 9.

A co-defendant, Quin Ngoc Rudin, 45, of Chino, California, pleaded guilty in May to wire fraud. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14.