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Press Release

Santa Rosa Man Sentenced For Tax Evasion And Conspiracy To Defraud The United States

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, Jay Scott Soderling was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay $345,697 in restitution, announced United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Special Agent in Charge Michael T. Batdorf.  

After a five-day trial in December of 2015, Soderling and his wife, Jessica Lynn Soderling, were convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy to defraud the United States.  Jay Soderling was also convicted on one count of tax evasion.  The evidence at trial showed that the Santa Rosa couple were involved in efforts to conceal assets from the IRS to avoid payment of Jay Soderling’s tax liabilities.  During 2004 and 2005, Jay Soderling evaded payment of his taxes by hiding money and assets in the name of a corporation.  In 2008 and 2009, after the IRS discovered Jay Soderling was keeping his personal assets in the name of the corporation, the couple worked together to further conceal assets by, among other things, moving money into a bank account opened for this purpose in Jessica Soderling’s name.  Jay Soderling was indicted on August 9, 2011, for a single count of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201.  A superseding indictment was later filed adding the 18 U.S.C. § 371 conspiracy charge against the couple.

In finding Jay Soderling guilty of conspiracy, the jury concluded he agreed to obstruct the lawful functions of the IRS by deceitful or dishonest means.  In addition, the evidence demonstrated Jay Soderling willfully evaded payment of taxes he owed to the United States.  According to papers filed with the court, beginning in July 2004, the IRS began attempting to collect Jay Soderling’s tax liabilities.  Jay Soderling admitted owing the IRS approximately $90,000, but he made written and oral statements to IRS employees misrepresenting his ability to pay the debt.  Among other things, Jay Soderling told the IRS he had no significant assets, he had negligible income, and he did not expect his financial situation to change.  In reality, Jay Soderling knew that he was about to receive an enormous financial windfall from several real-estate transactions.  The government also demonstrated Jay Soderling failed to disclose his use of corporate funds to purchase a Dodge Viper, a new boat, and other personal items.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Vince Chhabria, U.S. District Judge.  In addition to the prison term, Judge Chhabria also sentenced Jay Soderling to three-year periods of supervised release.  Jessica Soderling was sentenced to a three-year term of probation, and ordered to pay $153,242 in restitution, in April 2016.

Assistant United States Attorneys Michael G. Pitman and Jose A. Olivera are prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.

Updated September 20, 2016

Financial Fraud