ST. CHARLES – A St. Charles businessman and his bookkeeper are accused of cheating credit card companies of about $1.2 million and evading their personal federal income tax obligations of more than $1.5 million, federal law enforcement officials announced this week.
Viet Nguyen, 41, of St. Charles, and Adelina Miguel, 37, of Joliet, were scheduled this week to be arraigned on one count each of wire fraud and tax evasion, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
Nguyen reportedly owned and operated several companies, including Expedite Media Group, VB Management Holding Company and Pure Small Business.
As office manager and bookkeeper, Miguel reportedly managed payroll, handled credit card charges and issued tax forms to employees.
"According to the indictment, between 2008 and March 2012, Nguyen and Miguel allegedly swindled customers, credit card companies and banks by fraudulently charging customers’ credit and debit cards and bank accounts for services that were not provided," the release states.
"Nguyen directed Miguel and other staff to make fraudulent charges to meet daily sales quotas that he set and he and Miguel knew could not be met without fraudulently charging for services that were not provided," it adds.
Because Nguyen and Miguel are reported to have intentionally failed to keep records about which credit card charges were fraudulent, authorities are asking anyone who thinks they might be a victim to contact an Internal Revenue Service criminal investigation agent at 630-493-5224.
The companies' federal income tax obligations flowed through Nguyen's personal income tax returns, according to the release. It states Nguyen and Miguel are accused of filing false returns for 2009 that underreported their incomes.
The pair also is accused of having the companies pay their personal expenses, including Nguyen's payments for a Rolls Royce, Bentley, Hummer, Ferrari, Land Rover, two Audis, mortgage payments, skating lessons, dental bills, utilities and property taxes.
"Nguyen directed Miguel to enter payments for personal expenses as business expenses in the companies' ledgers to avoid reporting the payments as personal income on their tax returns," the release states.
Wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or an alternate fine of twice the loss or twice the gain, whichever is greater.
Tax evasion carries a maximum of five years and a $250,000 fine. Additionally, those convicted of tax offenses are responsible for any taxes and interest due, as well as civil penalties of up to 75 percent of the tax owed.