Muscatine tax lawyer sentenced to more than 3 years in federal prison for postal fraud
A Muscatine tax lawyer has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison for filing false tax returns for clients and keeping illegal refunds to himself.
Soo-Hyun Jung, also known as Jay Jung, 46, of Coralville, pleaded guilty in August in Davenport U.S. District Court to two counts of mail fraud and one count of misrepresenting the U.S. Treasury Department .
Jung, a former lawyer at the Nepple law firm in Muscatine, was sentenced to 38 months in prison on Wednesday, court documents show. A judge also ordered him to pay more than $ 618,000 in restitution to the victims and to serve three years of supervised release.
During the plea hearing in August, Jung admitted to participating in a scheme involving the filing of income tax returns for “RM,” as identified in court documents, after receiving his power of attorney. Jung could file tax claims but was not allowed to sign returns on behalf of RM
RM signed an agreement for Jung to prepare his taxes for 2002-2013, according to the plea deal. Jung first prepared the taxes for 2002-2005 with RM’s signature, but when he called the IRS to verify the status of these returns, he changed RM’s address to his business address in Coralville. .
Jung admitted during the hearing that he had forged his client’s signature and that the refunds were going to his office. He also admitted that in 2015 he filed RM’s taxes for 2012, 2013 and 2014, and received separate refunds of $ 2,220, $ 15,252 and $ 2,322. All were submitted without the knowledge of his client.
Jung filed tax refunds of $ 202,180 for the 2003 and 2004 tax years in a Nepple Law trust account on October 2, 2015, according to the plea. He also deposited tax refunds in the trust account on October 9, 2015, for $ 49,707. Then, on October 16, he issued a check for $ 236,886 from the trust account at Wells Fargo so that he could purchase a cashier’s check payable to himself and RM.
During the scheme, Jung bought a cashier’s check with illegal funds to pay for a lien on his 2014 BMW M6 Gran Coupe, according to the plea.
Jung also prepared tax returns for another client, “CT,” which authorized financial services company Vanguard to give Jung access to his account and tax information, according to the plea. On May 13, 2016, Jung submitted a disbursement request for Vanguard to issue a check for $ 200,000 payable to CT, but this check was mailed to Jung’s office. Jung then forged CT’s signature and deposited the check into a Nepple Law trust account.
On May 27, 2016, Jung issued a check for $ 199,000 from the trust account to Wells Fargo to purchase a cashier’s check, which was payable to CT or to himself.
Court documents show that the loss to the regime’s victims totaled $ 618,022.
Jung received a reprimand from the Iowa Supreme Court Attorneys Disciplinary Board in 2014 for his failure to advise a client on tax matters and a conflict of interest in the same case.
The Internal Revenue Service‘s Criminal Investigations Division investigated the case and the Southern District of Iowa U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted him.
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