Placer County Couple Pleads Guilty to Tax-Related Offenses

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SACRAMENTO : A Foresthill couple pleaded guilty today to tax-related offenses, and have agreed to pay over $605,000 in restitution, Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Virendra (Vic) Maharaj, 55, pleaded guilty to willfully failing to file tax return information with the U.S. Treasury related to his receipt of cash while engaged in trade or business. Maharaj’s wife, Rosalin R. Prasad, pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to the Internal Revenue Service’s assessment of income taxes.

According to court documents, Prasad conspired with Maharaj to defraud the IRS in the IRS’s attempts to assess the couple’s tax obligations for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007. Maharaj worked at car dealerships in Sacramento and Woodland in those years and earned substantial income. Several actions were taken to further the conspiracy to thwart the proper assessment of income taxes. Among other things, part of Maharaj’s wages were paid directly to Prasad; part of Maharaj’s compensation was paid directly to Prasad and Maharaj’s creditors through indirect payments; Maharaj took compensation in the form of currency; Prasad improperly deferred around $270,000 in capital gains related to her purchase of a $1.9 million residence; Prasad caused false tax returns to be filed in each of those years; and Prasad made false statements during an IRS audit. Prasad conspired to underreport over $819,000 in income and, in turn, underpay over $184,000 in federal income taxes. She received substantial tax refunds in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

According to court documents, Maharaj was an owner, general manager, and salesperson of Maharaja Motors LLC, which operated a used car lot in Woodland, from approximately 2007 through 2016. In 2015, Maharaj sold a vehicle to a customer and, in turn, received a cash payment of over $10,000. Maharaj willfully failed to file information with the U.S. Treasury, specifically an IRS Form 8300, which is required to be filed by a person engaged in certain trades or businesses, including an automobile sales business, who receives a cash payment exceeding $10,000.

These cases are the product of an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nirav Desai and Audrey Hemesath are prosecuting the case.

The defendants are scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on April 28, 2022. They each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

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