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Federal agent who taught financial crimes course hid $250K in taxable income, lied to pay informant nearly $100K: feds

The Naperville man meticulously deposited the money into a bank account in small increments in order to avoid detection, the charges allege.

The Dirksen Federal Courthouse
The Dirksen Federal Courthouse
Sun-Times file

A Department of Homeland Security agent trained in financial investigations allegedly tried to hide $250,000 of income from his tax returns, while also lying in order to pay an informant nearly $100,000, prosecutors said.

A federal indictment doesn’t say where Anthony Sabaini received the money he allegedly omitted from his tax forms, but it claims he meticulously deposited the money into a bank account in order to avoid detection.

Sabaini, of Naperville, deposited the money to a bank account in increments under $10,000 more than 160 times from April 2014 to November 2018 to avoid federal reporting laws, the indictment states.

And then, over the next five years, Sabaini, 38, knowingly left that deposited cash off his tax forms, prosecutors said.

In 2014, he claimed an income of $113,000, when he allegedly knew his income exceeded that. His next four years of tax forms allegedly left out the extra income as well, the indictment states.

While the alleged tax fraud was happening, prosecutors say Sabaini also lied to his bosses in order to hire a confidential informant and pay him tens of thousands of dollars of federal money.

It’s unclear in the indictment if the $95,000 in payment he secured for the confidential drug informant is related to the tax charges, but the indictment states Sabaini repeatedly lied on forms, falsely claiming the informant had no criminal history.

In 2017, Sabaini told a DEA agent not to pursue charges against someone caught selling cocaine to an undercover agent, the indictment says. Sabaini claimed the person selling cocaine was a former informant of his, and that the person was involved in a larger investigation, the indictment states.

Several months later, Sabaini went to his bosses for permission pay his former informant several thousand dollars in order to use him for a new investigation, the indictment states.

But on a form asking Sabaini if the informant had been involved in a previous crime, he allegedly failed to mention the earlier drug deal when the informant sold drugs to the undercover informant. The indictment doesn’t mention a motivation behind the alleged false filing.

Sabaini is charged with five counts of filing a false federal tax return, one count of structuring a currency transaction and one count of willfully engaging in a scheme to conceal a material fact in a matter within the jurisdiction of DHS.

Sabaini was employed by the DHS as a special agent assigned to its office in Oakbrook Terrace, according to an indictment. He investigated narcotics and money laundering, and served as a lead instructor for a training course on money laundering and financial investigations.

His arraignment hasn’t been scheduled.