District Of Columbia Business Owner Sentenced To 21 Months For Tax Fraud

On Friday at the United States District Court in the District of Columbia, U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sentenced Steve Choi to 21 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release. Judge Jackson also ordered Choi to pay approximately $6,390,182 in restitution to the Office of Tax and Revenue and $4,737,809 in restitution to the United States.

Choi who on February 7, 2020 pleaded guilty to employment tax fraud was the founder, president, and operator of nine companies that provided food services within government buildings located in the D.C. area, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce, NASA, and the Library of Congress, among other locations.

As president and operator of the companies, Choi was responsible for collecting and paying employment taxes to the IRS however from 2012 through 2015, Choi collected tax withholdings from his employees’ wages, but did not pay over $4.4 million in employment taxes. During the same period, he also did not pay more than $6.2 million in sales taxes to the D.C. Office of Tax and Revenue. Rather than pay the sales and employment taxes, from 2011 through 2015, Choi directed his companies to pay millions of dollars in other expenditures, including over $1 million in personal salary, personal donations, and cash advances.

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