SAN JOSE – A federal jury returned a verdict yesterday against Jyh-Chau “Henry” Horng, finding him guilty of two counts of filing false tax returns and one count of lying to the IRS during a 2010 audit, announced Acting United States Attorney Alex G. Tse and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Richard E. Zuckerman of the Justice Department’s Tax Division. Horng’s wife, Meili “Ally” Lin, was also tried with respect to two counts of tax fraud; the jury failed to reach a verdict with respect to one count and acquitted Lin of the second count. The verdicts were delivered by the jury after a four-week trial before the Honorable Beth Labson Freeman, U.S District Judge.
Horng, 51, owned and operated an international trading business from his Saratoga home. The evidence at trial showed that Horng filed joint tax returns for 2006 and 2007 that underreported the couple’s income. In the 2006 tax return, Horng reported the couple’s income was only $232,116. In the 2007 tax return, Horng reported that the couple suffered a loss in the amount of $212,217. In addition, while the couple was under audit, Horng told an IRS auditor that the information in their loan applications were lies made up by their loan brokers and that the couple had no foreign bank accounts. The evidence demonstrated the reported income figures and Horng’s statements to the auditor were demonstrably false. During the same 2006-2007 period, the defendants purchased millions of dollars of real estate, reported on numerous loan applications annual income of over $1 million, invested over $5 million into a Milpitas shopping center, and spent over $350,000 using credit cards.
On January 28, 2015, a federal grand jury in San Jose indicted Lin and Horng on two counts of filing false tax returns, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1). Horng was also charged with one count of making false statements to a government agency, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001(a)(2), and two counts of making false statements to a federally insured institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014. Lin also was charged with one count of making false statements to a federally insured institution, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1014. The 18 U.S.C. § 1014 charges were severed prior to trial and will be tried in the future. The jury convicted Horng of all three charges at issue in the trial. Lin was acquitted of fraudulently filing the 2007 tax return, and the jury could not reach a verdict with respect to the 2006 tax return.
Horng is free on bail, pending sentencing. Judge Freeman has not yet scheduled his sentencing hearing. Horng faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison for each false tax return and up to an additional five years in prison for lying to the IRS auditor. In addition to the prison terms, the court also may order Horng to serve an additional period of supervised release and to pay restitution and monetary penalties. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Assistant United States Attorney Michael G. Pitman and Trial Attorney Christopher Magnani are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jonathan Deville. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS, Criminal Investigation.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Northern District of California