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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty For Fraudulent Scheme To Steal Over $1 Million From His Clients

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that TOM SHIN pled guilty to charges of aiding the preparation of a false tax return and wire fraud.  SHIN pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Tom Shin admitted today that he violated his clients’ trust by filing false tax returns on their behalf in a scheme to defraud his clients of more than $1.3 million that was intended to pay taxes owed to the federal and state governments.  Shin will now have to answer for his actions.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint and Indictment to which SHIN pled guilty:

SHIN was hired to prepare joint federal and state tax returns for two individuals (the “Clients”) for tax year 2017.  SHIN showed the Clients completed tax return forms indicating that the Clients owed approximately $1.3 million in taxes.  However, SHIN actually filed false returns on behalf of the Clients without their knowledge, which concealed the Clients’ tax liability.  SHIN then, in connection with applications for extensions of time to file his personal tax returns, directed tax authorities to withdraw approximately $1.3 million from the Clients’ bank account, and then filed personal tax returns seeking an approximately $1.3 million refund.  The net result of the alleged scheme would have been a transfer of approximately $1.3 million from the Clients’ bank account to SHIN.

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SHIN, 36, of Staten Island, New York, pled guilty to one count of aiding the preparation of a false tax return, which carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison, and one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  As a condition of his plea, SHIN also agreed to forfeit $335,894. 

SHIN is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Caproni on March 4, 2019, at 12:00 p.m.

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. 

Mr. Berman thanked the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for their outstanding work.

This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Brett M. Kalikow is in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Tax
Press Release Number: 
18-419
Updated November 29, 2018