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Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Friday, February 27, 2015

Former Enzyme Company Owner Pleads Guilty to Filing False Tax Returns and Perjury

A Fort Wayne, Indiana, resident pleaded guilty yesterday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Indiana to two counts of filing a false tax return and one count of perjury, announced Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division.

According to the information and court documents, in 2008 and 2009, Jared Hochstedler participated in five separate “wrap,” or stock-for-equity, agreements where two companies, Signature Worldwide Advisors LLC and K&L Enterprises Inc., assumed more than $3.2 million in debt owed to Hochstedler by his company, Enzyme Environmental Solutions Inc. (EES), primarily for his back wages in exchange for stock in EES.  Signature and K&L then sold the stock on the over-the-counter market for profit and paid Hochstedler more than $2.8 million.  Hochstedler failed to report this income on his 2008 and 2009 individual federal income tax returns.  Hochstedler also failed to report more than $1 million paid by K&L as purported loans.

Hochstedler engaged in another stock-for-equity agreement with Bebida Beverage Company, where he assumed the debt of Bebida in exchange for its stock.  In 2009, he sold the Bebida stock for more than $1 million and substantially underreported the capital gain on his tax return. 

In June of 2009, the SEC deposed Hochstedler regarding the stock-for-equity transactions.  During the deposition, Hochstedler falsely stated that the stock he received from Bebida represented repayment of loans and that he sold the Bebida stock for $300,000 to $400,000, when the actual sales price was in excess of $1 million.

Hochstedler faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each false return count, and a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the perjury count.            

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ciraolo commended the special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation who investigated the case, as well as Trial Attorneys Richard Rolwing and Christopher O’Donnell of the Tax Division, who are prosecuting the case.  She also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana for their assistance.

Additional information about the Tax Division and its enforcement efforts can be found on the division’s website.

Press Release Number: 
Updated May 18, 2016