Former owner of Sela Roofing sentenced to prison

3:45 PM, Oct 1, 2009   |    comments
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The former owner of Sela roofing was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison Thursday, after being convicted on conspiracy and tax-evasion charges.

United States District Court Judge James Rosenbaum ordered Amit Yitzhak Sela to serve 42 months in prison and two years on supervised release for one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and defraud the U.S., one count of tax evasion, and two counts of filing false tax returns.

In addition, Judge Rosenbaum imposed a $200,000 fine. Sela was indicted on August 5, 2008, and was convicted on June 17, 2009, following an eight-day trial. Testimony and documents on file with the Court indicate that between September 2001
and September 2004, Sela, who previously owned a 50-percent interest in the popular roofing company, conspired to steal money from Sela Roofing and conceal the amount of money he obtained from the business from the Internal Revenue Service and the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

Prosecuters say he did so in an effort to steal from the other 50-percent owner of Sela Roofing and to evade paying
federal income taxes on that money.

To further the scheme, Sela contracted with vendors who did work for him personally rather than as subcontractors for the company. He also induced vendors to falsify the addresses on invoices so the invoiced work appeared to be part of Sela Roofing jobs, when, in fact, it was work done on Amit Sela's personal residence, his ex-wife's home, repairs on his Hummer and other personal expenses.

In some instances, when Sela could not obtain a false invoice, he
altered invoices. Then, he arranged for all the fraudulent invoices - totaling more than $100,000 - to be paid by the company.

Sela also arranged for co-defendant Abdullah S. Noaman, Jr., a vendor, to submit false invoices to Sela Roofing making it appear work was done on legitimate roofing or remodeling jobs when no work was done. The money paid to Noaman - more than $550,000 - was then funneled to Sela.

It was shown at trial that Sela attempted to evade more than $220,000 in federal taxes.

(Copyright 2009 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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