HOUSTON – Two people have been charged with
aiding and abetting each another in the evasion of $3.5 million in diverted
corporate income, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with acting IRS
– Criminal Investigation (CI) Special Agent in Charge Ramsey Covington.
Asim Lodhi and wife Naila Lodhi are expected
to make their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina Bryan
The indictment, returned Sept. 10, alleges
the Lodhis owned and operated U. S. Loss Prevention Inc. and Vanguard Detective
& Security Agency, Inc. The company provided contract security services for
commercial clients in the Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan areas. The
indictment alleges from during 2008 through 2011, the couple diverted and
cashed approximately $3.5 million in client fee checks through two local check
cashing services. The checks should have been deposited directly into the corporate
bank accounts and disclosed to their accountants as taxable sales, according to
When necessary, Asim and Naila Lodhi
allegedly later deposited approximately $2.5 million in proceeds of the check
cashing activity into their personal and corporate accounts to pay corporate
and living expenses. However, they described these delayed cash deposits to
their accountants as non-taxable loans from friends rather than taxable sales
according to the indictment. .
The charges allege that when their corporate
and personal tax returns came under investigation in 2013, the Lodhis hired new
accountants. These people then allegedly proposed amendments that would have
converted the “loan deposits” made to the corporate accounts into taxable
sales, profits and dividends. However, the defendants did not reveal
approximately $1 million in diverted cash that was not deposited to any account
and remained a secret, according to the charges.
The indictment further alleges the deception
continued into 2014 when they made misleading statements to the IRS.
If convicted, Asim and Naila Lodhi face a
maximum of five years in federal prison on each count as well as a possible
$250,000 maximum fine.
IRS-CI conducted the investigation. Assistant
U.S. Attorney Jimmy Sledge Jr. is prosecuting the case.