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updated: 5/27/2014 9:49 PM

St. Charles man charged with tax evasion, wire fraud

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Daily Herald staff report

A St. Charles man and his bookkeeper face federal charges accusing them of scamming credit card companies and filing false tax returns.

Viet Nguyen, 41, of St. Charles -- who owned Expedite Media Group Inc., VB Management Holding Co. Inc. and Pure Small Business Inc., among others -- and his office manager and bookkeeper Adelina Miguel, 37, of Joliet have been indicted on allegations that between 2008 and March 2012 they charged bank accounts and credit and debit cards of customers for services they didn't provide, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the Northern District of Illinois.

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In the scheme, Nguyen created more companies in order to access more merchant accounts, even as older merchant accounts were canceled due to complaints of fraud, and listed personal expenses as business expenses in order to avoid paying taxes, according to the U.S. attorney news release.

Nguyen and Miguel listed as business expenses personal expenses such as mortgage payments, luxury vehicles including a Rolls-Royce and a Bentley, skating lessons, dental bills, cash withdrawals, and property taxes and utilities, the release said.

The two scammed credit card companies out of about $1.2 million, according to the release.

Because detailed credit card expense records were not kept, federal authorities are asking people who think they might be a victim to call an Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation agent at (630) 493-5224.

Along with the credit card fraud, Nguyen and Miguel are accused of submitting false returns on which they underreported their incomes, authorities said. Filing these returns led to more than $1.57 million in unpaid taxes, according to the news release.

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 twice the gain, whichever is greater. Tax evasion carries a maximum of five years and a $250,000 fine.

Their arraignment is scheduled for Thursday.

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