Chicago-area tax preparer convicted of Covid-relief fraud

A federal jury in Chicago on Monday convicted a tax preparer from Palos Heights of wire fraud related to Covid-19 relief funds.

Hadi Isbaih, 42, who owned Flash Tax Service Inc. in Bridgeview, was found guilty of submitting fraudulent loan applications for his clients under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. These programs, established by the CARES Act in 2020, were designed to provide financial assistance to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

From May to August 2020, prosecutors said Isbaih prepared and submitted loan applications that included false information about his clients' business revenues and employee numbers. He also submitted falsified tax returns as part of the loan applications. Isbaih charged his clients upfront fees and additional fees if they received the loan funds.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. A sentencing date for Isbaih has yet to be set.

The Department of Justice encourages anyone with information on Covid-19 relief fraud to report it by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or filing a complaint online HERE.