Former IRS agent sentenced to prison in investment scam
A former Internal Revenue Service agent was sentenced to nearly three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges related to an investment scheme that caused victims to lose more than $8 million.
George Tannous pleaded guilty in 2008 to charges of conspiracy and filing a false tax return for his role in a scheme that defrauded hundreds of investors in Bidbay.com [aka bidway.com, auctioncities.com, auctiondiner.com, askgt.com], which was developing an online auction website. Tannous was Bidbay’s president.
U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson sentenced Tannous on Monday to 33 months in prison and ordered him to repay $8.8 million to 218 investors.
Victims were lured into purchasing unregistered shares of Bidbay from 1999 to 2003 by false promises that the company would be acquired by EBay Inc., a move that would inflate the value of Bidbay’s private shares. EBay had no such plans, prosecutors said.
Tannous , 55, had previously worked as a revenue agent with the IRS. He left the agency in 1993 and opened a tax-consulting business before launching Bidbay.
According to prosecutors, Tannous failed to disclose to investors in Bidbay that up to 50% of their investments were paid as commissions to telemarketers who solicited investments. Tannous personally received nearly $3 million of investor money, which he failed to report as income in his tax filings, prosecutors said.
More on George:
These are good for a chuckle.
Former CEO of BidWay, AuctionCities, BidBay, AskGT.com, George Tannous is giving free tax advice on youtube!
He sounds a lot different when he’s not threatening anybody on the phone in the middle of the night. Not sure if any of those “BidBay.com” stock certificates are worth anything yet. Maybe calling him at 1800-TAXTAX5 will yield any answers for those investors?
More are available on this youtube channel:
Police blotter: Dot-com magnate loses fraud appeal. Complete with explanation from George in comments, along with complaints from other investors.
Not sure what this is about, maybe George’s personal