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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 10, 2018

Former Owner of Plastics Recycling Company Convicted of Tax Evasion

Evaded Paying Taxes on Over $14 Million in Income

            WASHINGTON – Michael Sang Han, 47, formerly of Palm Beach, Fla, was found guilty yesterday by a federal jury in the District of Columbia of two counts of tax evasion for evading paying more than $4 million in taxes in 2010 and 2011. 

            The announcement was made today  by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division, Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Kelly R Jackson of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Washington D.C. Field Office.

            According to the evidence introduced at trial, Han owned and operated Envion, a company that he claimed held the patents on technology used to convert plastics into fuel oil.  Han convinced two individuals to invest nearly $40 million in his company, then used more than $14 million of that money to fund a lavish personal lifestyle.  In 2010 and 2011, Han purchased a Palm Beach home, paid for extravagant renovations and internal decorations, enjoyed flights on private jets, and bought multiple luxury cars, including BMWs, a Range Rover, and a Ferrari.  Han also used millions of dollars of the investors’ money to replace money he had previously misappropriated from Envion.  According to the government’s evidence, Han also took steps to conceal his personal use of the investors’ money from his bookeepers and tax preparers.  As a result, he did not report any of the money he converted for his personal use on his 2010 and 2011 tax returns, thereby evading more than $4 million in tax liability.

            The guilty verdicts were returned on May 9, 2018, following an eight-day jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before the Honorable James E. Boasberg. Han faces a statutory maximum sentence of five years in prison on each count.  He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. Han is to appear before Judge Boasberg for a hearing later today to set conditions for his release pending the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Aug. 1, 2018.

            U.S. Attorney Liu, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman, Assistant Director in Charge McNamara, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Jackson commended the work of those who investigated the case from IRS Criminal Investigation and the FBI’s Washington Field Office. They also expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Derrick Williams and Denise Simmonds, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Tax Division Trial Attorney Sarah Ranney, who prosecuted the case, as well as Paralegal Specialist Brittany Phillips, who provided assistance during the trial.

 

Topic(s): 
Tax
Press Release Number: 
18-111
Updated May 10, 2018