News and Press Releases

Owner of construction and remodeling business in
west orange, n.J., pleads guilty to filing false tax returns

May 15, 2012


NEWARK, N.J. – The owner of Custom Design and Carpentry, LLC, based in West Orange, N.J., admitted today to evading more than $100,000 in tax payments by depositing business checks into his personal accounts and failing to report that income, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Sing Chan, 32, of West Orange, pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of subscribing to false personal federal income tax returns. Chan entered his guilty plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made during Chan’s guilty plea proceeding:

Chan is the sole owner and operator of Custom Design and Carpentry, LLC (“Custom Design”), a construction and remodeling business located in West Orange. During tax years 2008 and 2009, Chan sometimes received payment for services through checks made payable to Custom Design, and sometimes checks were made out to Chan directly. The checks made payable to Custom Design were deposited into Chan’s business bank account. The checks made payable to Chan were deposited into Chan’s personal bank accounts at various banks, though the memo portions typically contained a note referencing construction and remodeling work he performed.

Chan admitted that for tax years 2008 and 2009, he filed U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns in which he purported to report all of his income from Custom Design, but failed to report the income that he deposited into his personal bank accounts – approximately $410,856. The amount represents approximately $258,646 in 2008, and approximately $152,210 in 2009. Chan’s intentional failure to disclose the income to the IRS caused a tax loss to the United States of approximately $100,406 – including approximately $58,170 in 2008 and $42,236 in 2009.

As part of his guilty plea, Chan has agreed to make full restitution for all losses resulting from his filing of false tax returns, including approximately $100,406, plus interest and penalties to be determined, to the IRS.

The charge of subscribing to false tax returns carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is currently scheduled for Sept. 26, 2012, before U.S. District Judge Katharine S. Hayden.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge JoAnn S. Zuniga, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mendelsohn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.


Defense counsel: Scott Tullman Esq., New York

Sing Chan Information

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