States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|September 21, 2010||
FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER SENTENCED TO 37 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR EMBEZZLEMENT, TAX EVASION
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that MICHAEL IAN SOHN, 36, of Fairfield, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Mark R. Kravitz in New Haven to 37 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for embezzling campaign funds from the Christopher Shays for Congress Committee, and for failing to pay federal income taxes over a four-year period.
“The sentence imposed today is appropriate as this defendant, for four years, violated the trust of a U.S. congressman, campaign coworkers, and every contributor to the campaign,” stated U.S. Attorney Fein. “He also failed to pay taxes, not only on his criminal proceeds but also on his legitimate income, including his United States Government salary, undermining our tax collection system that relies on accurate and honest self-reporting. I want to commend the FBI and IRS-CI agents who thoroughly investigated this matter, with the considerable assistance of the campaign committee.”
According to court documents and statements made in court, SOHN was employed as the campaign manager for the Christopher Shays for Congress Committee from January 2003 through December 2008, and also was employed by the United States House of Representatives from January 2003 through May 2008. On March 11, 2010, SOHN pleaded guilty to one count of conversion of campaign funds, admitting that, from 2005 to 2008, he embezzled a total of $252,424.10 from the Campaign. SOHN also admitted that he stole the money from the Campaign by writing himself checks and using the Campaign’s ATM/debit card to withdraw cash and make debit card purchases. SOHN did not have signature authority on the Campaign’s bank accounts, so he forged the signature of the Campaign Committee Treasurer on the checks that he wrote to himself.
SOHN also pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion stemming from his filing of a fraudulent federal tax return for the 2008 tax year. On the tax return, SOHN stated that his taxable income for 2008 was $75,860, and that the amount of tax due was $15,617. However, SOHN’s taxable income for 2008 was approximately $163,949 on which he owed approximately $43,468 in federal income tax.
SOHN has admitted that he failed to report a total of approximately $527,136 in taxable income for the calendar years 2005 through 2008, which resulted in a loss of $95,955 to the Internal Revenue Service.
Today, Judge Kravitz ordered SOHN to pay full restitution to the Shays Campaign Committee and the Internal Revenue Service.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter S. Jongbloed.
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