Local Couple Indicted In Tax Scheme
CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX: (716) 551-3051
BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. and Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the Justice Department’s Tax Division announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a four count indictment charging Lizhong (Tony) Shen and Xiaojie (Lucy) Shun with conspiracy to defraud the government and subscribing to a false tax return. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
In addition, Lucy Shun is charged with corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue Service which is punishable by three years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Trini E. Ross and Tax Division Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl, who are handling the case, sated that according to the indictment, between April 2004 and November 2009, the defendants, who were married at the time, jointly operated BTL International Company, Ltd., a tour and travel service company located in Niagara Falls, NY. In 2009, the defendants separated and Tony Shen stopped working for BTL International. In January 2011, Lucy Shun ceased operation of BTL International and began operating Niagara Falls Universal, Inc., also a tour and travel service company.
For the tax years 2008 and 2009, Shen and Shun failed to properly report income generated by BTL International to the Internal Revenue Service on both corporate and personal tax returns.
Both defendants also signed their 2009 personal tax return knowing the return included incorrect information. Shen and Shun reported income in the amount of $22,880 but it is alleged they knowingly received a significantly higher income.
Furthermore, from April 2010 through April 2013, Lucy Shun provided inaccurate information to the accounting firm preparing the 2011 tax return for Niagara Falls Universal, the 2010 and 2011 personal tax return for the couple and the 2012 tax return for Lucy Shun.
The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge.