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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 6, 2013

San Francisco Resident Pleads Guilty to Filing A False Tax Return

SAN FRANCISCO – Richard Chong pleaded guilty today to a charge involving the failure to disclose the existence of foreign bank accounts on his tax returns, United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Special Agent in Charge José M. Martínez announced.

According to the plea agreement, Richard Chong, of San Francisco, filed U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns in 2005, 2006, and 2007 in which he falsely stated on Schedule B that he had “no” foreign bank accounts. Chong, in fact, had multiple foreign bank accounts, including an account at LGT Bank in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Chong admitted that he did not disclose these accounts to the person preparing his income tax returns although he knew he was required to disclose them to the IRS.

In pleading guilty, Chong agreed to resolve all civil liability for failing to file Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, Form TD F 90-22.1, and other foreign information reporting obligations under the United States law, for the tax years 1999 through 2007. He will also pay a 50% penalty with respect to the funds held in the undeclared offshore accounts for the one year with the highest balance in the account for the calendar years 1999 through 2007. He agreed to pay this penalty prior to sentencing.

Chong, who was charged on July 8, 2013, with one count of filing a false tax return in violation of 26 U.S.C. 7206(1), is scheduled to be sentenced on December 13, 2013.

The maximum statutory penalty for each count of filing a false tax return, in violation of Title 26, U.S.C § 7206(1) is three years in prison and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Thomas Newman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting this case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.