Acting United States Attorney Nicholas Vassallo announced today that Jin Chen Liang 62, of Corona, California, was sentenced for conspiracy to defraud the government in a hearing on August 16, 2022, before Chief United States District Court Judge Scott W. Skavdahl, according to a release issued by the Department of Justice.
Liang was sentenced to five years’ probation, with the first six months under home confinement, and was ordered to pay a $200 special assessment and over $700,000 in restitution to the State of Wyoming and the IRS.
The United States recommended a sentence of 30 months’ incarceration.
Liang developed, sold, and installed software that enabled several restaurants in Wyoming to conceal cash sales, facilitating the restaurant owners’ under-reporting of the amount of sales tax owed to the State of Wyoming and the amount of income tax owed to the federal government.
Liang sold the software to individuals who owned restaurants in Casper, Cheyenne, Green River, Riverton, and Rock Springs.
The total amount of under-reported tax was approximately 2 million dollars.
The Wyoming Department of Audit suspected the presence of the software on the Wyoming restaurants’ point of sales systems and collaborated with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation and the IRS during the investigation.
Restaurant owners who bought and used Liang’s software, Quyen Sam Ha, Soi Sam Ha, and Jenn Sam Ho, were previously convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud the government.
All the convicted restaurant owners were placed on supervised probation for a term of 5 years and have already paid restitution totaling over 1.8 million dollars to the State of Wyoming and the IRS.
“This was the culmination of an investigation that began in 2016 and involved multiple Wyoming restaurants,” said Acting United States Attorney Nicholas Vassallo. “The crime facilitated by Liang’s software harmed not only the State of Wyoming, but it also created an unfair advantage over law-abiding restaurant owners who lawfully paid state and federal taxes. Due to the diligent and collaborative work of both federal and state investigative agencies, Liang’s criminal enterprise has been dismantled.”
“The use of revenue suppression software to hide your income is a crime against not only the federal government, but all honest taxpayers,” said Andy Tsui, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Denver Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation special agents are experts in uncovering sophisticated tax avoidance schemes, and we will continue to pursue individuals and organizations attempting to avoid their tax obligations.”
This crime was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation, the Wyoming Department of Audit, and the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration.
Assistant United States Attorney Stephanie I. Sprecher prosecuted the case.