Many people have the preconceived notion that used car salesmen are less than scrupulous and Mohammad Jafar Nikbakht didn't do anything to help that stereotype. Late last year in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California, Mohammad Nikbakht aka Freydoon Nikbakht was sentenced to 15 months in prison for criminal tax evasion for the year 2007. Mr. Nikbakht was the owner or co-owner of a number of wholesale used car dealerships in and around San Diego, California. He willfully and fraudulently understated his income on his Forms 1040 in a conscious attempt to avoid paying his federal income tax totaling over $200,000.
According to papers filed in his criminal tax case beginning in October 1999, Mr. Nikbakht purposely caused a false joint income tax return to be prepared on behalf of himself and his wife for tax year 1998, which substantially understated their income. Mr. Nikbakht signed and filed this fraudulent return with the Internal Revenue Service as well as doing the same for tax years 1999 and 2000. His intention was to knowingly and wantonly defraud the U.S. government of tax due and owing for those years.
In addition to filing false returns for 1998 through 2000, Mohammad Nikbakht allegedly also committed tax fraud by filing fraudulent Forms 1040 for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004, again purposely understating his income. For the years 2006 and 2007 he didn't file tax returns even though they were required. In his attempt to further criminally evade the income tax due and owing he operated a wholesale auto dealership under another dealer's license and had all of his income payments made payable to either cash or his ex-wife in an effort to hide his income. He moved money into, out of and between various bank accounts to hide the money from the IRS and created a sham corporation, opening a bank account in that corporation's name that he used to pay his personal expenses, again in a concerted effort to conceal his income.
Mr. Nikbakht eventually pled guilty to one count of the criminal tax indictment for 2007 with the remaining counts dismissed on the motion of the United States. In addition to 15 months in prison, Mr. Nikbakht was ordered to pay the IRS $124,454 in restitution and upon his release from prison will be on supervised release for three years. He will also be prohibited from opening checking accounts or incurring new credit card charges or opening additional lines of credit without approval of his probation officer.