Results tagged “IRS” from The Court Reporter

Ojai Businessman Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

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LOS ANGELES - The owner of a residential and commercial paint business pleaded guilty today to failing to report to the Internal Revenue Service wages paid to employees totaling over $1.5 million, according to the Internal Revenue Service.


Scott G. Titus, 53, of Ojai--owner and operator of Scott Titus Painting--pleaded guilty to one count of subscribing to a false quarterly employment tax return in 2008,  federal officials stated.


According to the plea agreement,  during the years 2008 through 2010, Titus owned and operated Scott Titus Painting, IRS officials stated.


Titus painted residential and commercial properties and was paid by his clients per job.  For the years in question, Titus failed to report $1,594,971 in wages paid to the employees of Scott Titus Painting on the quarterly and annual employment tax returns filed with the IRS resulting in a tax loss to the government of at least $666,748, according to the IRS.


The count to which Titus pleaded guilty today relates to the employment tax return for the 2nd quarter of 2008.  Specifically, Titus reported paying wages to employees of $22,195, when in fact he paid wages of $215,774, falsely underreporting the wages paid by $193,579, IRS officials stated.


Titus faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000 when sentenced in July, authorities stated.

Beverly Hills Man Pleads Guilty to Hiding Interest Income from IRS

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Los Angeles- Zvi Sperling, of Beverly Hills, admitted to maintaining foreign bank accounts, using nominee entities in Israel to conceal bank accounts and interest income, according to the Internal Revenue Service.


Sperling, 62, formerly of Tel Aviv, pleaded guilty Friday in federal court  to  conspiring with others to defraud the IRS in the collection of income tax, state IRS officials.


For the tax years 2005 through 2008, Sperling failed to report interest income of approximately $381,563.


Sperling, who will be sentenced in June, faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.


According to the plea agreement, Sperling and his brother own a business which sells wholesale goods imported from China.


Around January 6, 2002, IRS officials and federal prosecutors stated that Sperling opened a bank account in Israel in the name of Orot Investments Limited, a nominee entity, an Island of Nevis corporation.  He then transferred at least $100,000 from an account in China to the Orot account in Israel, according to the IRS.


Sperling and his brother already had a foreign bank account in China, holding profits, not reported in the United States.  A co-conspirator convinced Sperling to move the money from China into a bank account in Israel to avoid detection by the IRS.


Sperling and his brother also borrowed money from the Israeli bank to expand their business, using the Orot account in Israel as collateral.  These loans were called "back to back loans." 


Northridge CPA Used The Names of Dead People To File False Tax Returns

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A Northridge CPA and tax return preparer pleaded guilty today to conspiracy in connection with using the names of dead people to file federal tax returns, according to federal


Masood Chotani got employer identification information from his client files and gave them to his co-conspirator Haroon Amin, of Upland, stated IRS officials.


Amin and another co‑conspirator, Ather Ali, of Diamond Bar, used the stolen employer data, as well as deceased people's Social Security numbers and other identification information obtained from the Internet, to prepare and file fraudulent returns, according to authorities.


According to officials, the scheme resulted in the filing of at least 250 false income tax returns with the IRS, claiming an aggregate of more than $2,000,000 in tax refunds.  Although the IRS rejected the bulk of these refund claims, a number of refund checks were issued and delivered to addresses controlled by Amin, Ali, and their co-conspirators. 


Most offenses occurred in San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Ventura counties, state federal officials.   Most of these refund checks were delivered overseas to be deposited in bank accounts in Armenia and Pakistan, authorities stated. 


Amin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States on Jan. 25, 2010 and is currently serving a 30-month prison term.  Ather Ali pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States on Feb. 12, 2010 and is serving a 37-month prison term, according to federal officials. 


Chotani is facing sentencing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on April 23.

The Court Reporter
Raul Hernandez has spent years writing stories about the drama that unfolds in the courtroom. Here he answers common questions, share some insights on the judicial system and passes along some of the little things that make the Ventura County courts an interesting place to be. You can contact him at