Ex-IRS Agent Turned Con-Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud

Ex-IRS Agent Turned Con-Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud

George Tannous, a former IRS agent has been given a three year prison sentence for his part in an investment scheme that conned victims of more than $8 million.  Tannous entered a guilty plea in 2008 after his firm, Bidbay.com helped bilk money from investors.  His guilty plea is for 1 count of conspiracy and 1 count of subscription to a false tax return.

Tannous will serve his sentence in federal prison.  The sentence was handed down by US District Judge Dean D.Pregerson.  The judge has also ordered Tannous to pay up the $8.8 million to the 218 investors he has cheated.  Tannous is also guilty of concealing material facts in connection to the sale of investments in Bodbay.com Inc, AskGT.com Inc.  and a few other companies.

George Tannous is from Lake View Terrace.  Tannous served in the IRS till he left in 1993.  He started a tax consulting company and then went into Bidbay.  Tannous was president of the company which was in the process of developing an online auction website.  The investors were cheated after they had been asked to invest in unregistered shares of Bidbay between 1999 and 2003.  They had been led to believe that the company was in the process of being acquired by ebay Inc and this would lead their share prices to go up significantly.  Ebay had no plans of doing so of course.

The investors also were not told about the fact that half their money was going as commissions to be paid to telemarketers whose job was to solicit investments.  Tannous also conveniently omitted telling the investors that their money was helping fund his personal life styles too.  He used $3 million for personal income, income which he failed to report in his income tax filings.

Adding to his list of crimes, Tannous also did not tell the investors that his co- conspirator in the crime, a De Elroy Beeler Jr, is a convicted felon who was awaiting sentence on fraud charges of another case and had served jail time between 2002 and 2005.  Tannous had worked out this scheme with three co- conspirators.

3 Responses to Ex-IRS Agent Turned Con-Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud

  1. “There is an unusual amount of activity where people are defaming my client,” said Barry Sabahat, a lawyer for the firm of Moghaddami & Sadigh, AuctionDiner’s legal representatives. “They are alleging that AuctionDiner and George Tannous are involved in criminal activities.” George Tannous owns and operates AuctionDiner.
    Sabahat said his firm would issue subpoenas over the next two weeks to AuctionWatch, AuctionCrotch and Mootropolis, three Web sites that offer their members online forums for discussing online-auction issues. Sabahat said he will requesting the companies to provide him with information that may link “nicknames” to users whose posts are allegedly defaming AuctionDiner. Sabahat said that his firm would be seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

    June 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

  2. United States of America v. George Constantine TannousUnited States District Court Central District of California
    Official citation and/or docket number and footnotes (if any) for this case available with purchase.

    March 19, 2012

    UNITED STATES OF AMERICAv.GEORGE CONSTANTINE TANNOUSGEORGE TANNOUS Social Security No. 0 1 2 2 (Last 4 digits) JUDGMENT AND PROBATION/COMMITMENT ORDER MONTH DAY YEAR In the presence of the attorney for the government, the defendant appeared in person March 19 2012 Jim Spertus, retained. (Name of Counsel) X GUILTY, and the court being satisfied that there is a factual basis for the plea. NOLO CONTENDERE NOT GUILTY There being a finding/verdict of GUILTY, defendant has been convicted as charged of the offense(s) of: Count 1: Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. §371); Count 2: Subscribing to a False Tax Return (26 U.S.C. § 7206(1)) as charged in the 2 Count Information. The Court asked whether there was any reason why judgment should not be pronounced. Because no sufficient cause to the contrary was shown, or appeared to the Court, the Court adjudged the defendant guilty as charged and convicted and ordered that: Pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, it is the judgment of the Court that the defendant is hereby committed to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of: Pursuant to the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, it is the judgment of the Court that the defendant, George Tannous, is hereby committed on the Information to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons to be imprisoned for a term of 33 months. This term consists of 33 months on Count 1, and 10 months on Count 2, to be served concurrently. Upon release from imprisonment, the defendant shall be placed on supervised release for a term of 3 years. This term consists of 3 years on Count 1 and 1 year on Count 2, all such terms to run concurrently and under the following terms and conditions: The defendant shall comply with General Order No. 01-05;

    The defendant shall comply with the rules and regulations of the U. S. Probation Office and General Order 318; The defendant shall refrain from any unlawful use of a controlled substance. The defendant shall submit to one drug test within 15 days of release from imprisonment and at least two periodic drug tests thereafter, not to exceed eight tests per month, as directed by the Probation Officer; The defendant shall participate in an outpatient substance abuse treatment and counseling program that includes urinalysis, breath, and/or sweat patch testing, as directed by the Probation Officer. The defendant shall abstain from using illicit drugs and alcohol, and abusing prescription medications during the period of supervision; During the course of supervision, the Probation Officer, with the agreement of the defendant and defense counsel, may place the defendant in a residential drug treatment program approved by the United States Probation Office for treatment of narcotic addiction or drug dependency, which may include counseling and testing, to determine if the defendant has reverted to the use of drugs, and the defendant shall reside in the treatment program until discharged by the Program Director and Probation Officer; As directed by the Probation Officer, the defendant shall pay all or part of the costs of treating the defendant’s alcohol dependency to the aftercare contractor during the period of community supervision, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3672. The defendant shall provide payment and proof of payment as directed by the Probation Officer; The Court authorizes the Probation Office to disclose the Presentence Report to the substance abuse treatment provider to facilitate the defendant’s treatment for narcotic addiction or drug dependency. Further redisclosure of the Presentence Report by the treatment provider is prohibited without the consent of the sentencing judge; During the period of community supervision the defendant shall pay the special assessment and restitution in accordance with this judgment’s orders pertaining to such payment; The defendant shall truthfully and timely file and pay taxes owed for the years of conviction; and shall truthfully and timely file and pay taxes during the period of community supervision. Further, the defendant shall show proof to the Probation Officer of compliance with this order; The defendant shall not engage, as whole or partial owner, employee or otherwise, in any business involving loan programs, telemarketing activities, investment programs or any other business involving the solicitation of funds or cold-calls to customers without the express approval of the Probation Officer prior to engagement in such employment. Further, the defendant shall provide the Probation Officer with access to any and all business records, client lists and other records pertaining to the operation of any business owned, in whole or in part, by the defendant, as directed by the Probation Officer; The defendant shall cooperate in the collection of a DNA sample from the defendant; The defendant shall apply monies in excess of $500 received from income tax refunds to the outstanding court-ordered financial obligation. In addition, the defendant shall apply all monies received from lottery winnings, inheritance, judgments and any anticipated or unexpected financial gains to the outstanding court-ordered financial obligation. It is further ordered that the defendant surrender himself to the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons on or before 12 noon, on May 18, 2012 . In the absence of such designation, the defendant shall report on or before the same date and time, to the United States Marshal located at: Roybal Federal Building 255 East Temple Street Los Angeles, California 90012 It is ordered that the defendant shall pay restitution pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3663 (A). Defendant shall pay restitution in the total amount of $8,797,201 to victims as set forth in a separate victim list prepared by the probation office which this Court adopts and which reflects the Court’s determination of the amount of restitution due to each victim. The victim list, which shall be forwarded to the fiscal section of the clerk’s office, shall remain confidential to protect the privacy interests of the victims. All fines are waived as it is found that such sanction would place an undue burden on the defendant’s dependents. SPECIAL ASSESSMENT: It is ordered that the defendant shall pay to the United States a special assessment of $200, which is due immediately. SENTENCING FACTORS: The sentence is based upon the factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3553, including the applicable sentencing range set forth in the guidelines. The Court’s first priority is a STRONG RECOMMENDATION that the defendant participates in the 500-hour drug program, if the defendant qualifies. The Court’s second priority is a RECOMMENDATION for a BOP facility as close to the Southern California vicinity assuming this request does not conflict with the recommendation for the 500-hour drug treatment program. In addition to the special conditions of supervision imposed above, it is hereby ordered that the Standard Conditions of Probation and Supervised Release within this judgment be imposed. The Court may change the conditions of supervision, reduce or extend the period of supervision, and at any time during the supervision period or within the maximum period permitted by law, may issue a warrant and revoke supervision for a violation occurring during the supervision period. United States District Judge It is ordered that the Clerk deliver a copy of this Judgment and Probation/Commitment Order to the U.S. Marshal or other qualified officer. Clerk, U.S. District Court March 19, 2012 By John A. Chambers Filed Date Deputy Clerk The defendant shall comply with the standard conditions that have been adopted by this court (set forth below). STANDARD CONDITIONS OF PROBATION AND SUPERVISED RELEASE While the defendant is on probation or supervised release pursuant to this judgment: The defendant shall not commit another Federal, state or local crime; the defendant shall not leave the judicial district without the written permission of the court or probation officer; the defendant shall report to the probation officer as directed by the court or probation officer and shall submit a truthful and complete written report within the first five days of each month; the defendant shall answer truthfully all inquiries by the probation officer and follow the instructions of the probation officer; the defendant shall support his or her dependents and meet other family responsibilities; the defendant shall work regularly at a lawful occupation unless excused by the probation officer for schooling, training, or other acceptable reasons; the defendant shall notify the probation officer at least 10 days prior to any change in residence or employment; the defendant shall refrain from excessive use of alcohol and shall not purchase, possess, use, distribute, or administer any narcotic or other controlled substance, or any paraphernalia related to such substances, except as prescribed by a physician; the defendant shall not frequent places where controlled substances are illegally sold, used, distributed or administered; 10. the defendant shall not associate with any persons engaged in criminal activity, and shall not associate with any person convicted of a felony unless granted permission to do so by the probation officer; 11. the defendant shall permit a probation officer to visit him or her at any time at home or elsewhere and shall permit confiscation of any contraband observed in plain view by the probation officer; 12. the defendant shall notify the probation officer within 72 hours of being arrested or questioned by a law enforcement officer; 13. the defendant shall not enter into any agreement to act as an informer or a special agent of a law enforcement agency without the permission of the court; 14. as directed by the probation officer, the defendant shall notify third parties of risks that may be occasioned by the defendant’s criminal record or personal history or characteristics, and shall permit the probation officer to make such notifications and to conform the defendant’s compliance with such notification requirement; 15. the defendant shall, upon release from any period of custody, report to the probation officer within 72 hours; 16. and, for felony cases only: not possess a firearm, destructive device, or any other dangerous weapon. The defendant will also comply with the following special conditions pursuant to General Order 01-05 (set forth below). STATUTORY PROVISIONS PERTAINING TO PAYMENT AND COLLECTION OF FINANCIAL SANCTIONS The defendant shall pay interest on a fine or restitution of more than $2,500, unless the court waives interest or unless the fine or restitution is paid in full before the fifteenth (15th) day after the date of the judgment pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3612(f)(1). Payments may be subject to penalties for default and delinquency pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3612(g). Interest and penalties pertaining to restitution , however, are not applicable for offenses completed prior to April 24, 1996. If all or any portion of a fine or restitution ordered remains unpaid after the termination of supervision, the defendant shall pay the balance as directed by the United States Attorney’s Office. 18 U.S.C. §3613. The defendant shall notify the United States Attorney within thirty (30) days of any change in the defendant’s mailing address or residence until all fines, restitution, costs, and special assessments are paid in full. 18 U.S.C. §3612(b)(1)(F). The defendant shall notify the Court through the Probation Office, and notify the United States Attorney of any material change in the defendant’s economic circumstances that might affect the defendant’s ability to pay a fine or restitution, as required by 18 U.S.C. §3664(k). The Court may also accept such notification from the government or the victim, and may, on its own motion or that of a party or the victim, adjust the manner of payment of a fine or restitution-pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3664(k). See also 18 U.S.C. §3572(d)(3) and for probation 18 U.S.C. Payments shall be applied in the following order: 1. Special assessments pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3013; 2. Restitution, in this sequence: Private victims (individual and corporate), Providers of compensation to private victims, The United States as victim; 3. Fine; 4. Community restitution, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. §3663(c); and 5. Other penalties and costs. SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR PROBATION AND SUPERVISED RELEASE As directed by the Probation Officer, the defendant shall provide to the Probation Officer: (1) a signed release authorizing credit report inquiries; (2) federal and state income tax returns or a signed release authorizing their disclosure and (3) an accurate financial statement, with supporting documentation as to all assets, income and expenses of the defendant. In addition, the defendant shall not apply for any loan or open any line of credit without prior approval of the Probation Officer. The defendant shall maintain one personal checking account. All of defendant’s income, “monetary gains,” or other pecuniary proceeds shall be deposited into this account, which shall be used for payment of all personal expenses. Records of all other bank accounts, including any business accounts, shall be disclosed to the Probation Officer upon request. The defendant shall not transfer, sell, give away, or otherwise convey any asset with a fair market value in excess of $500 without approval of the Probation Officer until all financial obligations imposed by the Court have been satisfied in full. These conditions are in addition to any other conditions imposed by this judgment. RETURN I have executed the within Judgment and Commitment as follows: to Defendant noted on appeal on Defendant’s appeal determined on to the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons, with a certified copy of the within Judgment and Commitment. United States Marshal By Date Deputy Marshal CERTIFICATE I hereby attest and certify this date that the foregoing document is a full, true and correct copy of the original on file in my office, and in my Clerk, U.S. District Court By Filed Date Deputy Clerk FOR U.S. PROBATION OFFICE USE ONLY Upon a finding of violation of probation or supervised release, I understand that the court may (1) revoke supervision, (2) extend the term of supervision, and/or (3) modify the conditions of supervision. These conditions have been read to me. I fully understand the conditions and have been provided a copy of them. Defendant Date U. S. Probation Officer/Designated Witness Date20120319© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm

  3. is he related to the nasa guy involved with the x-1 yeager flight?

    July 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *