MANCHESTER, Conn. – A Connecticut convenience store owner has pleaded guilty to illegally cashing 126 false federal income-tax refund checks totaling more than $787,000.
The U.S. Attorney's office says 50-year-old Asafak Bhura pleaded guilty last week to attempting to interfere with the administration of internal revenue laws.
Court records show Bhura cashed the checks for a person he knew only by a first name. Bhura also deposited checks into his personal bank accounts.
Federal prosecutors say there's no evidence Bhura filed the false tax returns. But in cashing the checks, he violated procedures that require proper identification for check-cashing customers.
Bhura has agreed to pay $39,000 in restitution, which reflects the commissions he took for cashing the checks.
He faces up to 16 months in prison when he's sentenced in August.