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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of California

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Novato Woman Charged With Filing False Tax Returns

SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury indicted Marina Zuk with three counts of filing false tax returns, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge José M. Martinez.

According to the indictment, from 2008 to 2010, Zuk, of Novato, California, owned and operated a landscaping and yard maintenance business named Growing Works.  She also was the sole signatory on a bank account in her deceased grandmother’s name after the death of her grandmother in 2006.  Zuk underreported the gross receipts from Growing Works and interest income from the bank account in her grandmother’s name on her 2008, 2009, and 2010 individual federal income tax returns (Forms 1040).  Specifically, Zuk reported that Growing Works received gross receipts of $166,808 for 2008; $146,279 for 2009; and $105,618 for 2010.  During these years, Zuk also did not report any interest income for the bank account in her grandmother’s name.  According to the indictment, Zuk knew when she submitted the tax returns that the company received gross receipts in addition to the amounts stated and that the bank account earned interest income during that period.

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss resulting from each count of filing false tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1).  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney José A. Olivera is prosecuting the case.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Updated April 9, 2015