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Monday, March 20, 2023
More Guilty Pleas in Sovereignty-Related Tax Fraud Scheme
By News Release @ 6:21 PM :: 1992 Views :: Law Enforcement, Taxes

Editor’s Note:  The Chocks were plaintiffs alongside Rose Dradi, a Keanu Sai-Dexter Kiama collaborator, in a now-dismissed Sept 7, 2018 lawsuit claiming the IRS had no legal authority to collect taxes from them.  

Background: Another Hawaii Couple Indicted in Sovereignty-Related Tax Fraud Scheme

Ewa Beach Couple Pleads Guilty to Tax Fraud

A Hawaii couple has pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the United States by obtaining a fraudulent tax refund and then thwarting IRS efforts to recoup it.

News Release from USDoJ, March 20, 2023

According to court documents, Michael and Brigida Chock of Ewa Beach conspired with a third individual to prepare a false 2014 amended individual income tax return (Form 1040X) and a false miscellaneous income form (Form 1099-MISC) purportedly issued by a mortgage lender to Michael Chock. The tax return falsely reported an inflated tax withholding amount based on the fraudulent Form 1099-MISC, resulting in a refund of $225,327.  The defendants knowingly filed these false forms with the IRS in March 2016.

The Chocks took several steps to obstruct IRS efforts to recover the fraudulently obtained refund, including depositing the refund check into a bank account in the name of a trust they created to conceal the refund and by paying the coconspirator $73,500 for assistance in obtaining and concealing the refund. They also falsely claimed to the IRS that they had prepared the false tax return themselves. 

Each faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a period of supervised release, restitution and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Clare E. Connors for the District of Hawaii made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and the FBI are investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Sarah Kiewlicz and Meredith Havekost of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregg Paris Yates of the District of Hawaii are prosecuting the case.

---30---  

Ewa Beach couple pleads guilty in federal tax probe case

SA: … An Ewa Beach couple pleaded guilty Friday after they were charged in connection with a 2021 federal investigation Opens in a new tab into allegations of tax fraud that ensnared at least a dozen local residents Opens in a new tab, according to a plea agreement….

In September 2021 a federal grand jury returned a 45-count superseding indictment charging Rosemarie Lastimado-Dradi, owner and president of the now defunct Gimmel Group, and five others with conspiracy to defraud the government. Lastimado-Dradi was also charged with aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.

In June 2021 another Ewa Beach couple, Beverly Braumuller-Hawver and Scott F. Hawver, were indicted for conspiring to defraud the government by filing a false tax return. Braumuller-­Hawver also was charged with four counts of money laundering….

At least three tax fraud indictments in 2021 name the co-conspirator as the owner of the Gimmel Group LLC, a domestic limited-liability company in Hawaii that “purported to be a personal investment business,” according to court documents.

A 15-count indictment handed down July 15 and unsealed Sept. 9 accused Hannah Kim Heart and Sook Young Jung of managing $1.6 million in illegal proceeds.

The Gimmel Group was incorporated April 29, 2015, and administratively terminated by the state on Dec. 7, 2018, according to the Business Registration Division of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.

Heart and Jung allegedly conspired with the Gimmel Group’s owner and a signatory of Mortgage Compliance Advisors &Solutions LLC, a Florida company, by recruiting at least five other people to file false tax returns to obtain refunds they did not deserve….

BREG: Gimmel Group LLC

read … Ewa Beach couple pleads guilty in federal tax probe case

 

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