California Resident Sentenced to Prison for Selling Fraudulent Financial Instruments and Tax Fraud
Kenneth Taylor, a California resident, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay $90,000 in victim restitution for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and $1,100,774 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for tax fraud, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, United States Attorney David L. Anderson, Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett, and Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Kareem Carter. The Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States District Court Judge, imposed the sentence.
On March 1, 2019, Taylor pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return and to conspiring with codefendants Sharon Ringgenberg and Craig Scott to commit wire fraud. Taylor admitted that from 2009 through 2012, he conspired with his codefendants to sell to customers fraudulent standby letters of credit and proof of funds statements for submission to banks. These financial instruments were fraudulent because they reported false client creditworthiness and client balances that exceeded Success Bullion USA, LLC’s (SBUSA) assets.
The fraudulent financial instruments were issued by SBUSA, an entity for which Taylor established a website, and which falsely purported to be an authorized U.S. subsidiary of a large Hong Kong financial institution. The fraudulent financial instruments were transmitted to banks by Centerlink LLC, another entity Taylor controlled, in a format that rendered the instruments unenforceable. Taylor sent proceeds he received through SBUSA and Centerlink to an account in Belize that he controlled. Taylor admitted that he received more than $3 million from the scheme, and that his false returns caused a tax loss of more than $550,000.
Taylor’s co-conspirators, Ringgenberg and Scott, each pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 6, 2019.
In addition to the prison term and restitution, Judge Tigar also sentenced Taylor to three years of supervised release.
Assistant United States Attorney Colin Sampson and Tax Division Trial Attorney Charles A. O’Reilly are prosecuting the case. This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.