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Justice News

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

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Former Owner of Plastics Recycling Company Sentenced to Four Years in Prison For Tax Evasion Scheme

Evaded Paying Taxes on Over $14 Million in Income

            WASHINGTON – Michael Sang Han, 47, formerly of Palm Beach, Fla., was sentenced today to four years in prison following his conviction in a multi-million dollar tax evasion scheme.

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

            Han was found guilty by a jury on May 9, 2018, of two counts of tax evasion for evading paying millions of dollars in taxes in 2010 and 2011. The verdict followed a trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. He was sentenced by the Honorable James E. Boasberg. In addition to the prison term, Han was ordered to pay $4,954,027 to the IRS. Following his prison term, he will be placed on three years of supervised release.

            According to the evidence introduced at trial and statements made in court, Han owned and operated Envion, a company that he claimed held the patents on technology used to convert plastics into fuel oil.  Beginning as early as 2004, Han convinced two individuals to invest nearly $40 million in his company, then used more than $17 million of that money to fund a lavish personal lifestyle.  Between 2004 and 2011, Han used millions of dollars of investors’ money for personal expenditures, including flying in private jets, enjoying lavish meals and adult entertainment, and purchasing luxury cars.  Specifically, in 2010 and 2011, Han used $3 million to purchase a West Palm Beach home, paid $2 million for extravagant renovations and internal decorations, and spent over $440,000 on 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 took from Envion in previous years. 

            According to the government’s evidence at trial, Han also took steps to conceal his personal use of the investors’ money from his bookkeepers 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 income tax returns, thereby evading more than $4 million in tax liability.

            U.S. Attorney Liu, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Zuckerman, Special Agent in Charge DeSarno, 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.


Press Release Number: 
Updated October 17, 2018