A Newark man on Wednesday admitted filing false tax returns and structuring cash payments to avoid reporting requirements, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.
Okoro Ifeanyi, 55, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler in Newark federal court to a two-count information charging him with filing false tax returns with respect to his 2010 through 2013 personal tax returns and with structuring financial transactions in 2007 and 2008 to avoid reporting requirements.
According to the documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Ifeanyi was the owner and operator of Amiri Mbubu Auto Sales. His primary business was buying used cars in and around New Jersey, often at auto auctions, and exporting the cars to Nigeria.
Ifeanyi admitted to substantially underreporting his income on his 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 U.S. individual income tax returns, specifically, failing to report additional taxable income that he earned through his business. According to the information, by failing to report his true income, Ifeanyi avoided paying approximately $461,085 in taxes.
Ifeanyi also admitted to structuring a series of transactions in 2007 and 2008. He made 17 different deposits into his Bank of America account, each less than $10,000, in order to avoid currency reporting requirements.
The filing a false tax return count carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison. The structuring count carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison. Both counts carry a potential $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing is set for July 19, 2017.
Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Justin S. Herring of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: Patrick O’keke Esq., New York
Source: FBI Press Release