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Press Release

NYC Contractor Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To One Year And One Day In Prison For Tax Evasion

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that NICK A. JODHA, a/k/a “Nick Persaud,” the owner of a contracting business that provided heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (“HVAC”) services throughout the New York City metropolitan area, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to one year and one day in prison for his role in a tax evasion scheme. JODHA pled guilty in April 2014 before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Sullivan, who also imposed today’s sentence.

According to the criminal Information against JODHA and statements made at the plea proceeding:

JODHA operated and was a 50% owner of United HVAC Services, Inc. (“United HVAC”), an HVAC contracting firm based in South Ozone Park, New York, with operations throughout New York City. From 2007 through 2010, JODHA cashed more than $2.3 million in checks made payable to United HVAC at a check cashing service in Manhattan, rather than depositing the business checks into the business’s corporate bank account. JODHA used the proceeds from the cashed checks for business and personal purposes.

During the same period, in order to prepare both personal and corporate income tax returns, JODHA provided his accountant with the statements from the business bank account of United HVAC. However, JODHA failed to inform his accountant of the checks he cashed at the check cashing service, which were not reflected in the statements of United HVAC’s business bank account. Moreover, JODHA failed to advise his accountant that he used a portion of the cashed checks for business and personal expenses.

JODHA admitted to filing false S-Corporation income tax returns on behalf United HVAC for the tax years 2007 through 2010, which omitted any business activity and flow-through income concerning the cashed business checks, and to filing false individual income tax returns for the tax years 2007 through 2010, which understated his true taxable income and the taxes due on that income. JODHA’s conduct caused a tax loss to the Government of approximately $214,529.

In addition to the prison term, JODHA, 43, of South Ozone Park, New York, and Kissimmee, Florida, was sentenced to two years of supervised release. JODHA was also ordered to pay $214,529 in restitution to the IRS and a $100 special assessment fee.

Mr. Bharara praised the efforts of IRS-CI in the investigation. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s Tax Division for their significant assistance in the investigation.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jorge Almonte of the Department of Justice’s Tax Division is in charge of the prosecution.

Updated May 18, 2015

Press Release Number: 14-264