On Wednesday, August 8, 2012, Tae Son Lee (aka, Mike Lee), age 52, of Oakland, California was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for Federal Tax Crimes stemming from his roofing business, also in Oakland, CA. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) conducted an investigation stemming from his business, Westco Roofing. The Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IRS conducted a multiyear investigation that led to Mr. Lee, along with the business accountant/bookkeeper: Jong Moon Choi (aka, Peter Choi) and Kwan II Song (aka, Daniel Song) being indicted for Conspiracy, Tax Evasion, and Structuring.
The majority of the conspiracy and tax evasion charges stem from allegations that Lee/Choi/Song paid the companies employee's at least partially in cash, failed to report the wages that were paid in cash, falsely claimed expenses, deposited money from roofing jobs into bank accounts that were not Westco's, and more.
The U.S. Attorneys prosecuting the case were able to negotiate plea agreements by all parties charged. When it came to sentencing, the government asked for an upwards adjustment (i.e., more time) because Mr. Lee had been investigated by the IRS (via a Civil Audit) prior to this investigation - where Mr. Lee reached a settlement. The U.S. Attorneys used this prior tax problem in requesting a harsher sentence and stated in their pleadings, "the defendant knew better." U.S. Sentencing Memorandum, No. CR-10-00352 PJH.
Additional related articles/posts:
United States and South Korea Coordinate to Combat Monetary & Tax Crimes
Tax Indictment and Plea Round Up