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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of New Jersey

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 20, 2022

Morris County Man Indicted on Tax and Bankruptcy Fraud

NEWARK, N.J. – A Morris County, New Jersey, man was arrested today by federal agents on charges of tax and bankruptcy fraud, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger and Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division announced.

Zeki Donuk of Landing, New Jersey, is charged by indictment with three counts of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns, two counts of tax evasion, five counts of failure to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over trust fund taxes, and two counts of making false statements in bankruptcy proceedings. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge André M. Espinosa in Newark federal court. 

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Donuk operated a construction business first under the name Titan Builders LLC and later as Titan Steel Construction LLC (collectively, “Titan”). From at least 2016 through 2019, Donuk allegedly cashed checks payable to Titan instead of depositing them into business bank accounts. Donuk allegedly concealed the cashed checks and did not report them either as gross receipts on Titan’s corporate tax returns or as income on his or his wife’s personal returns. From the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017 Donuk also did not collect, account for, or pay over to the IRS, employment taxes on behalf of Titan’s employees, despite a legal obligation to do so. For those quarters, Donuk allegedly did not file quarterly employment tax returns on behalf of the businesses. In 2019, Donuk allegedly made false statements on documents he filed in a personal bankruptcy case. Donuk allegedly concealed from the bankruptcy court that he owned a vacation property in Pennsylvania, had signatory authority over certain bank accounts, owed tax debts to the IRS, and operated his construction business as Titan Builders and Titan Steel.

Each count of aiding or assisting in the preparation of false income tax returns carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of tax evasion carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of failure to collect, truthfully account for, and pay over trust fund taxes carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each count of making false statements in bankruptcy proceedings carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins; the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Andrew McKay; and special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, with the investigation leading to today’s arrest.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s National Security Unit in Newark and Trial Attorney Melissa Siskind of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division in Washington, D.C.

The charges and allegations contained in the indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Component(s): 
Press Release Number: 
22-388
Updated October 20, 2022