Many families enjoy doing things together. However, the Yeh family of Vienna chose to do something illegal – defraud the federal government.
Last Wednesday, Feb. 26, in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Henry Washington Yeh, 32, pleaded guilty to filing false and fraudulent tax returns. His father, Jimmy An-Twig Yeh, 57, and his mother, Zhi Hua Wang Yeh, 60, both pleaded guilty to aiding the filing of false tax returns.
All three of them were indicted by a federal grand jury, Sept. 24, 2013, on money-laundering and tax charges. Each one could now receive as much as three years behind bars when they return to court May 9 for sentencing.
In a statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, Henry Yeh, a convicted drug dealer, admitted that, from 2004 through 2009, he made nearly $1 million in cash from the distribution of more than 100 kilograms of marijuana. But he deliberately concealed this illicit income from the authorities and the IRS, and he also solicited others to help him conceal these proceeds.
In 2009, 2010 and 2012, Yeh filed false and fraudulent federal income tax returns with the IRS for taxable years 2005, 2006 and 2007. He did so by misrepresenting both the actual source of his gross income – marijuana sales – and the true amount he earned from that activity. According to the document, his parents, who were aware that their son garnered a substantial income from illegal dealings, aided him in filing a false tax return for 2007.
Authorities say Yeh used his drug proceeds to buy many things, either in his own name or jointly with others. But now they will lose them. As part of their pleas, Yeh and his parents have agreed to turn over approximately $2.1 million worth of assets, including real estate in Ashburn and Washington, D.C. They must also forfeit to the federal government an SUV, $918,166.73 from an investment brokerage account and $100,000 in cash.
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Washington Field Division and IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kimberly R. Pedersen and Karen L. Taylor are prosecuting the Yehs in court. U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee accepted the Vienna trio’s pleas and will be the one sentencing them in May.