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Bay Area Restaurant Owners Charged with Multiple Tax Crimes

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    According to multiple local news outlets, three San Francisco-area restaurant owners were recently charged with tax evasion and theft related to their alleged failure to pay required state taxes and theft of employee wages. This story should remind business owners that the payment of employment-related taxes, as well as the payment for the labor itself, is not optional. Life-changing repercussions may await those who fail to comply with California and federal tax and labor laws. If you have failed to properly comply with state and federal employment or income taxes for one or more years, it is in your and your business’s best interest to contact an experienced tax defense attorney to assist in coming back into tax compliance.

    Defendants Allegedly Stole from Employees, Failed to Pay Taxes

    California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently announced that David Tai Leung, 60; Sunny Siukeung Chan, 60; and Wendy Lai Ip, 55, have been charged with a combined 65 counts related to their alleged illegal activity. The three defendants each have a hand in operating one of three seafood restaurants in the Bay Area of Northern California. The charges include failure to pay unemployment insurance, failure to pay disability insurance, failure to pay income tax, tax evasion, and the theft of the labor of its employees.

    A trial date for the three defendants has not yet been set. If convicted on all counts, the combined prison sentence could span several decades. Additionally, financial sanctions such as penalties, back taxes, interest, and other restitution could prove to be a life-changing financial detriment to the defendants.

    Complying With California and Federal Tax Law

    California law, as well as the laws of the United States, require employers to pay certain taxes related to the employment of labor. Additionally, federal and state employment tax laws require employees to withhold and pay over certain taxes to tax authorities. When businesses fail to comply with these tax laws, not only the business is at risk. For instance, under federal law, any individual with the responsibility to oversee the payroll function is responsible civilly and criminally for intentional wrongdoings. Although complying with federal and state payroll-related laws can sometimes be burdensome, the repercussions for failing to do so are even more burdensome and could be life-altering.

    If you own a business or are responsible for the payroll function of a business and have not filed the necessary returns or paid the required taxes related to the employment of labor, you should contact an experienced tax defense attorney to determine your level of exposure and determine the best strategy to get you and your business right with the government. Working with a seasoned tax attorney, you won’t have to go up against the IRS alone and can spend more time with friends and family.

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