- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 30, 2003

RICHMOND — How did $11 million pass through the hands of the former U.S. attorney for eastern Virginia without her paying any taxes on it?

The question had Internal Revenue Service officials scratching their heads until an investigation revealed that a convicted felon and his wife fraudulently filed more than $37 million worth of IRS financial-transaction forms in the names of Richmond police officers, federal and state judges in Richmond and federal prosecutors.

The motive, according to the indictment, was revenge.

Khalid Jahi Kubweza, 47, and his wife, Lindiwe Kubweza, 44, of Chesterfield County, have been charged with one count each of conspiracy and nine counts of making false statements.

Mrs. Kubweza was scheduled for arraignment today in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. Khalid Kubweza’s first court appearance was set for tomorrow. No trial date has been set.

The unusual case came to light after federal investigators tracked the financial-transaction forms to former U.S. Attorney Helen Fahey and other officials, including U.S. District Judges Robert E. Payne and Richard L. Williams and Magistrate Judge David G. Lowe. The IRS requires the forms be filed by any person engaged in a trade or business who receives cash payments of more than $10,000, according to the indictment filed Sept. 10 in Norfolk.

Miss Fahey, who now chairs the state Parole Board, was one of several people listed as having paid $6 million on Khalid Kubweza’s behalf to the Federal Communications Commission in December 1999, and $5 million on Mrs. Kubweza’s behalf to Joseph P. Husnay in January 2000.

The indictment contends the Kubwezas filed nine of the financial-transaction forms in the names of more than two dozen people from December 1999 to May 2000.

Miss Fahey said she was aware of the false filings after they were made, but she was never contacted directly by the IRS. She said the filings never caused her any trouble.

“They didn’t have much credibility,” she said. “Just check my bank account.”

Khalid Kubweza had previously been prosecuted by Miss Fahey’s office, and the indictment says the fraudulent filings were “a tool of retaliation and harassment against individuals with whom [the Kubwezas] had legal disagreements.”

Sue Vick, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Richmond, said the point was to make Miss Fahey and other officials have to “deal with the IRS.”

Khalid Kubweza is serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for weapon and drug convictions. He also has prior convictions for assaulting a Richmond police officer and operating an unlicensed radio station.

Mrs. Kubweza has an unlisted number and could not be reached for comment.

The two face a maximum of five years each on the conspiracy charges and three years for each false-statement charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Don Roberts, a spokesman for the IRS in Washington, said similar filings have been used in the past by antigovernment or tax-protest groups as a way to harass public officials.

“The hope is the IRS will go in and look at these people who have had transactions filed against them. … They try to make life difficult for the public official,” he said. “Usually it’s done in volumes enough that it becomes evident it’s a harassment thing.”

Some of the officials listed in the indictment had no idea fraudulent forms had been filed in their names. Bevill M. Dean, Richmond Circuit Court clerk, said he was never contacted by the IRS about a $9.2 million payment he and others supposedly made on behalf of Khalid Kubweza to the Richmond Police Department in December 1999.

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