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Press Release

Tax Preparer Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison For Fraudlent Scheme To Steal Over $1 Million From His Clients

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

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that TOM SHIN was sentenced to two years in prison for aiding the preparation of a false tax return and wire fraud.  SHIN pled guilty on November 29, 2018, before U.S. District Court Judge Valerie E. Caproni, who imposed today’s sentence.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Instead of honestly performing the tax services he was hired to do, Tom Shin used his expert knowledge 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.  Today, Shin has been held accountable for breaching his clients’ trust.”

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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In addition to the prison term, SHIN, 36, of Staten Island, New York, was sentenced to two years of supervised release.  SHIN was also ordered to forfeit $335,394. 

U.S. Attorney 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.

Updated March 19, 2019

Press Release Number: 19-086