Written by The Business Journal Staff
A Fresno business owner has been indicted for tax and Social Security fraud charges.
According to a Friday press release from the United States Department of Justice, a federal grand jury has indicted Marcus Assay, 66, with charges of making false tax returns and concealing a matter with intent to fraudulently secure Social Security disability benefits.
The most recent charges, according to court documents, allege that from 2016-2018, Asay reported very little taxable income, despite knowing that his taxable income was more than $50,000.
As the chairman of American Labor Alliance, a labor union in Clovis founded by Asay in 2002, he organization money to pay for hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of personal expenses, including over $50,000 to dating and escort websites and $120,000 in rent for Asay’s personal residences.
The American Labor Alliance is now permanently closed.
Asay also received Social Security disability benefits beginning in 2010.
Around 2015, he began working full time as the chairman of the American Labor Alliance. From 2016-2019, Asay worked full-time and concealed the fact from the Social Security Administration, continuing to receive benefits.
Asay and a dependent were paid over $90,000 by the Social Security Administration during that period.
If convicted of filing a false tax return, Asay faces a maximum statutory penalty of three years in prison and a fine cup of up to $100,000 for each count.
A conviction of concealing and failing to disclose a matter related to social Security Benefits can bring Asay a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
This is not the first time that Asay has been charged with fraud and money laundering.
He is also facing accusations of fraud and money laundering in a separate case, USA v. Agricultural Contracting Services Association.
In that case, set for trial in November, it is alleged that between March 2016 and March 2017, the American Labor Union, Asay and Antonio Gastelum of Fresno, provided workers’ compensation coverage to clients and issued Certificates of Liability to clients that included names of insurers and false policy numbers.
The organization allegedly collected at least $2.8 million in worker’s compensation premiums. If convicted on these charges, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.