Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 14, 2018

Canadian Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy And To Making A False Claim Against The United States

A Canadian man pleaded guilty today in Rochester, New York to conspiring to defraud the United States and making a false claim against the United States, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. for the Western District of New York.

According to documents filed with the court and evidence introduced at a related trial, Daveanan Sookdeo, 46, formerly of Ontario, Canada, along with other Canadian citizens, conspired to defraud the United States by filing fraudulent claims for income tax refunds with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  Sookdeo promoted a scheme that involved the falsifying of IRS forms to claim that almost $10 million in income had been withheld by various Canadian financial institutions on the conspirators’ behalf.  Based on those bogus withholdings, the conspirators sought refunds from the IRS.

Sookdeo profited from the scheme by charging his coconspirators an upfront fee for the false documents used in the scheme, as well as a percentage of any tax refunds obtained through the scheme.  Sookdeo travelled to the United States to open bank accounts and deposited the refund checks and his coconspirators then wire transferred portions of the fraudulent proceeds to Canada. 

Sookdeo is the fifth Canadian citizen to be convicted for his role in this scheme.  In January 2016, Kevin Cyster of Burlington, Ontario, was sentenced to 135 months in prison after a jury convicted him of conspiring to defraud the United States and commit theft of government funds, making a false claim against the United States and transferring stolen money in foreign commerce.  Renee Jarvis, Timothy Johnston, and Jose Compuesto, also of Canada, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States and commit theft of government funds. U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci scheduled the sentencing for August 27, 2018.

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman and U.S. Attorney Kennedy thanked special agents of IRS Criminal Investigation, who conducted the investigation, and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Melissa S. Siskind and Thomas F. Koelbl and Assistant U.S. Attorney John Field of the Western District of New York, who prosecuted this case.

More information about the Tax Division’s enforcement efforts is available on the Division’s website.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
18-627
Updated May 14, 2018