Federal jury convicts men in vacuum company scheme to avoid paying $500K in taxes

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Two men were convicted by a federal jury on Wednesday for their parts in a scheme to hide earnings from the Internal Revenue Service to avoid paying more than $500,000 in taxes.

Saud Alessa and Jeffrey Bowen were convicted on charges of conspiring to defraud the IRS. A third man, Jackie Hayes, previously pleaded guilty to the same charge on Oct. 15.

Alessa was also convicted of tax evasion and filing false tax returns.

Bowen, the owner of vacuum cleaner distributor J&L Distributing Inc., Alessa and Hayes conspired to report Alessa’s earnings from 2010 through March, 2014, as money earned by Hayes. Alessa had federal tax debt from 1998-2007 and was trying to avoid reporting income.

Bookkeeping at J&L Distributing hid the income by funneling it through Hayes.

Alessa also filed false tax returns in 2012 and 2013. In February 2013, he filed bankruptcy, reporting he didn’t have an income.

Transactions listed in indictments in the case show that some of the transactions in the case occurred in Mesquite and Bunkerville, as well as southwest Utah.

Bowen and Alessa are scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 22, 2022. Hayes is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 18, 2022.

All three face a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the conspiracy charge. Alessa also faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison for the tax evasion charge and three years in prison for each count of filing a false tax return.

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