A Cartersville man who owned a number of gas stations is accused of taking kickbacks for gambling machines at his stores and not reporting the income, as well as defrauding a state subsidized children’s health insurance program.
Mohammed Ajmal, 47, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Walter E. Johnson at U.S. District Court in Rome on Friday on three counts of making and subscribing a false tax return, two counts of health care fraud and two counts of false statements related to health care matters.
“Ajmal was a successful businessman who attempted to game the system by allegedly filing false tax returns to conceal kickbacks,” said Acting U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Bobby L. Christine, in a statement. “He also allegedly submitted false income statements to obtain free healthcare for his children, while his brother, Shahzad, is alleged to have lied to a federal agent to help conceal the crimes.”
According to U.S. Attorney’s Office reports:
The investigation began with the GBI as part of an illegal commercial gambling case that revealed a number of other crimes, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said.
Ajmal owned several gas stations and convenience stores through various corporations in the Cartersville area and many of those stores contained gambling machines.
Those machines, titled coin operated amusement machines, began to be regulated by the Georgia Lottery Corporation in 2013.
As the lottery corporation began executing administrative orders regarding the machines Ajmal began receiving less revenue. Prosecutors say as a result of that lesser revenue he contacted the company that held the master license for machines at his properties. He demanded kickbacks or he’d remove the machines.
To disguise the kickbacks, he had that company begin writing checks to his family, including his brother Faisal Shahzad who is also charged in the case.
Ajmal is accused of taking that money, totaling around $2,292,847 from 2015 to 2018 as well as not reporting that income on his tax returns from 2015 to 2017.
As part of this investigation, on June 14, 2019, an Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations agent interviewed Shahzad at his workplace. During this interview, Shahzad told the agent that checks made out by the company to him were for work he performed for the company.
Shahzad is charged with making a false statement to a federal agent.
On top of that, Ajmal is accused of defrauding PeachCare for Kids by underreporting his income to the publicly subsidized health insurance program for kids.
“While the children were enrolled in the PeachCare for Kids program, Ajmal and his wife obtained medical and dental care and prescription drugs for them at public expense,” a release stated.