FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
DECEMBER 21, 2001
TDD (202) 514-1888
ERNEST G. GREEN PLEADS GUILTY TO TAX VIOLATIONS
Ernest G. Green, 60, of Washington, D.C., entered a guilty plea today before United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton in Washington, D.C., to a criminal information charging him with a violation of Title 26, U.S. Code, Section 7203, resulting from his failure to declare to the IRS and pay taxes on $30,000 in income which he received in 1995 from Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie. The $30,000 was for a planned business venture between Green and Trie.
Judge Walton scheduled sentencing for April 2, 2002. The maximum penalty that can be imposed for the offense is up to one year imprisonment, a fine of up to $100,000, or both.
The investigation was conducted by special agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assigned to the Justice Department's Campaign Financing Task Force.
Green is the 27th individual charged by the Department's Campaign Financing Task Force, which was established in 1996 to investigate allegations of campaign financing abuses during the 1996 election cycle. In addition, two corporations have been charged with criminal wrongdoing.
In April, 2001, Pauline Kanchanalak, a Thai national, and her sister-in-law, Duangnet Kronenberg, were sentenced to campaign financing-related charges in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. before Judge Paul L. Friedman. In June, 2000, Kanchanalak pled guilty to felony conspiracy and misdemeanor campaign financing charges and Kronenberg pled guilty to one count of making an illegal $10,000 corporate political contribution to the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) federal account. Kanchanalak was sentenced to three years probation, six months home confinement with electronic monitoring, a $3,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service. Kronenberg received 18 months of probation and a $1,500 fine.
In January 2001, James Tjahaja Riady paid a record $8.6 million in criminal fines and pled guilty to a felony charge of conspiring to defraud the United States by unlawfully reimbursing campaign donors with foreign corporate funds in violation of federal election law. In addition, LippoBank California, a California state-chartered bank affiliated with Lippo Group, will pled guilty to 86 misdemeanor counts charging its agents, Riady and John Huang, with making illegal foreign campaign contributions from 1988 through 1994.
On June 6, 2000, Audrey Yu, an employee of David Chang, pled guilty in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., to conspiring to obstruct justice by providing a false document to a federal district court during the grand jury's investigation into campaign financing violations in New Jersey. Yu is scheduled to be sentenced on February 7, 2002.
On June 2, 2000, David Chang pled guilty to charges that as a principal of Nikko Enterprises, Bright & Bright Corporation, Panacom Inc., and Hudson Terrace Realty Management Corporation, he conspired to funnel illegal campaign contributions to Senator Robert Torricelli's 1996 campaign. Chang also pled guilty to four substantive violations of the FECA for his role in funneling illegal campaign contributions in others names. Chang further pled guilty to corruptly attempting to persuade a potential grand jury witness to give false statements related to a financial transaction which was material to the grand jury investigation. Chang's sentencing date has been set for February 7, 2002.
On June 1, 2000, Cha-Kuek Koo, a Korean national residing in New Jersey, pled guilty to violating federal election law by making illegal contributions to Senator Torricelli's campaign. Koo admitted to assisting David Chang in making conduit contributions using Koo's employees at LG Group, Executive Office of the Americas. Koo's sentencing has also been set for February 7, 2002.
On April 5, 2000, a federal grand jury indicted two Buddhist nuns, Venerables Yi Chu and Man Ho, with contempt of court for failing to appear as witnesses in the government's criminal trial against Maria Hsia. Yi Chu and Man Ho remain fugitives. The Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division has the responsibility for this case and will handle the prosecution in the event either of the defendants, or both, return to the United States.
On March 2, 2000, Maria Hsia was convicted in federal district court in Washington, D.C., on charges of causing false statements to be submitted to the FEC. The trial had been postponed pending an appeal of a ruling by the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., which had dismissed some of the false statement counts. In May 1999, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. overturned the ruling and reinstated those counts. The task force dismissed a second indictment on tax charges after a jury in Los Angeles failed to reach a verdict. The Hsia case is before the U.S. Court of Appeals on the defendant's appeal.
On December 17, 1999, Yogesh Gandhi was sentenced to one year in prison for mail fraud, tax evasion, and violating federal election laws by aiding and abetting the making of a political campaign contribution by a foreign national.
On November 1, 1999, Yah Lin "Charlie" Trie, a Little Rock, Arkansas businessman, was sentenced, after pleading guilty, to a two-count information filed in Little Rock, Arkansas, to three years probation, four months home detention, 200 hours of community service, and a $5,000 fine for violating federal campaign finance laws by making political contributions in someone else's name and by causing a false statement to be made the FEC. Antonio Pan was also indicted with Trie in the District of Columbia, but has not been prosecuted because he has remained outside the United States.
On September 15, 1999, Lawrence Penna, the former President of a now-defunct New Jersey securities firm, was charged with violating election laws by funneling illegal campaign contributions to the 1996 federal election campaigns of President Clinton and Senator Torricelli. Penna's case was transferred by agreement to the Southern District of New York, where charges relating to his violation of United States' securities laws were pending.
On August 16, 1999, a federal judge sentenced Robert S. Lee to three years of probation and 250 hours of community service for aiding and abetting the making of an illegal foreign campaign contribution to the Democratic National Committee.
On August 12, 1999, former Lippo Executive John Huang pleaded guilty to a felony charge, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, that he conspired with other employees of the Indonesia-based Lippo Group to make campaign contributions and reimburse employees with corporate funds or with funds from Indonesia. He was sentenced to one year of probation, 500 hours of community service, a $10,000 fine and directed by the judge to continue cooperating with the investigation as a condition of his probation.
In June 1999, Berek Don, former GOP party leader in Bergen County, NJ, pled guilty to another conduit contribution scheme to the Senator Torricelli Campaign. On December 1, 1999, Carmine Alampi, a Bergen County New Jersey attorney, pleaded guilty to the same scheme. Alampi was fined $5,000, with no probation, for his misdemeanor violation.
On March 23, 1999, Juan C. Ortiz, the Chief Financial Officer of Future Tech International, Inc., was sentenced to two years probation, $20,000 in fines, and 200 hours in community service for acting as a conduit for an illegal campaign contribution and participating in the reimbursement of eight other conduit contributions.
On December 14, 1998, Johnny Chung was sentenced to probation and 3,000 hours of community service for bank fraud, tax evasion and two misdemeanor counts of conspiring to violate election law.
On November 24, 1998, Howard Glicken, a fund-raiser for the Democratic party, was sentenced to 18 months probation, an $80,000 fine, and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service for violating campaign finance laws.
On November 4, 1998, Franklin Haney was indicted on more than 40 counts, including among others, conspiring with another to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding the FEC and conspiring to violate specific provisions of federal election law. He was acquitted of all charges on June 30, 1999.
On September 30, 1998, Democratic fund-raiser Mark B. Jimenez was indicted in Washington, D.C. on 17 counts of organizing, making and concealing illegal conduit contributions to a number of Democratic campaigns, including the Torricelli Campaign. In December 1998, Future Tech International, Jimenez's Miami based computer sales company, pleaded guilty to tax offenses resulting from its illegal deduction of a $100,000 contribution to the DNC and employee campaign contributions reimbursed through the company's payroll. On April, 15, 1999, Jimenez, who is now in the Philippines, was indicted in Miami on additional charges of tax evasion and fraud. The Criminal Division of the Department of Justice will continue to pursue Jimenez's extradition from the Philippines. In the event of Jiminez's return to the United States, the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division has the responsibility for the prosecution of the case.
In 1997, the Task Force obtained guilty pleas from Democratic fund-raisers Nora and Gene Lum, and their daughter Trisha, and Michael Brown for illegal fund-raising activities after their cases were referred from Independent Counsel Daniel Pearson. In August 1998, Gene Lum pleaded guilty to filing a false 1994 tax return and falsely preparing Nora Lum's 1994 tax return. After cooperating with the government, he was sentenced in June 1999, to two years in prison. Nora Lum was sentenced to 5 months in a halfway house, 5 months in home detention, and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine, a sentence which Gene Lum also served separate and apart from the sentence he received for his tax-related conviction. Trisha Lum and Michael Brown each received probation, a $5,000 fine, costs of more than $7,000, and were ordered to perform 150 hours of community service.