Orange County, CA, Auto Body Shop Owner Pleads Guilty to $1M Tax Evasion


Chung Ku Sin admitted to using a check-cashing business to cash checks made payable to his shops, and not disclosing the transactions to his tax preparer.

Chung Ku Sin, 68, owner of three auto repair businesses in Orange County in California, pleaded guilty to a charge of filing a false tax return, admitting to a near $1 million tax loss to the U.S.

According to the plea agreement, Sin, who operates Golden Auto Body, Tops Auto Body and Victory Auto Body, deliberately failed to report approximately $2.93 million in income from 2015 through 2021, resulting in a tax loss to the U.S. Treasury of $977,807.

Sin's method of evasion involved using a check-cashing business in Garden Grove to cash checks made payable to his auto repair businesses. By not disclosing these transactions to his tax preparer and only reporting income deposited into his business bank accounts, Sin significantly understated his actual income.

For instance, in October 2017, Sin filed a false federal individual income tax return for 2016, reporting a total income of $180,124, while in reality, he had earned an additional $580,351 that year. This pattern of underreporting was consistent across multiple years, as Sin admitted to willfully making and subscribing to materially false federal individual income tax returns for the years 2015 through 2021.

In his plea agreement, Sin agreed to repay the IRS the total tax loss, including penalties and interest. 

U.S. District Judge John W. Holcomb scheduled a sentencing hearing for May 10, 2024. Sin faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in federal prison.

The case was investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation division. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett A. Sagel of the Corporate and Securities Fraud Strike Force is leading the prosecution.

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