IRS Announcement – Laguna Hills Hair Salon Owners Plead Guilty to Payroll Tax Charges

Los Angeles – LawFuel Legal Announcements – A husband and wife who have owned and operated numerous hair salons in southern Orange County pleaded guilty this morning to charges arising from their repeated failures to pay payroll taxes they had collected from wages paid to hair salon employees.

Annya A. Nguyen and John D. Pham, both of Laguna Niguel, operated hair salons under the Fantastic Sams name at various times since 1985 in the cities of Orange, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, and Rancho Santa Margarita. Nguyen pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to a charge that she had conspired with Pham to defraud the United States by impeding the Internal Revenue Service in the collection of taxes. She admitted that the conspiracy spanned a period of at least 8 years and involved a loss to the government of over $770,000 of payroll taxes. Nguyen also admitted that she failed to pay more than $80,000 of her federal income tax liabilities during the same time period.

Pham pleaded guilty to a charge that he had willfully failed to account for and pay income and social security taxes withheld from the wages of the employees of one of the corporations involved in the scheme. He admitted that he and his wife had incorporated 10 companies, all of which had failed to pay payroll taxes for tax periods beginning in 1996 and extending through 2004. Knowing that that taxes were owed to the IRS, Nguyen and Pham diverted assets from some of the corporations they controlled to their own personal benefit.

“Those individuals who undermine the integrity of our tax system by withholding employee taxes and failing to pay the taxes over to the IRS risk prosecution,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Catherine D. Tucker, IRS Criminal Investigation of the Los Angeles Field Office.

Nguyen and Pham each face a statutory maximum sentence of five years in federal prison and fines totaling twice the amount of the taxes involved when they are sentenced. United States District Judge A. Howard Matz ordered Nguyen and Pham to return to court for sentencing on July 27.

The investigation of Nguyen and Pham was conducted by IRS – Criminal Investigation in Los Angeles.


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