Manager Purchased US Postal Money Orders to Pay for Personal Expenditures
SAN DIEGO – July 22, 2008 – LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – Debra D. King, Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Field Office today announced that Marjan Pousti, a manager of a cosmetic surgery business owned by her husband, Dr. Pousti, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201 for tax year 2005. Pousti entered her guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge Dana Sabraw.
According to the signed plea agreement, within the Southern District of California, Pousti affirmatively attempted to evade and defeat her and her husband’s 2005 income tax due and owing by, among other things, (1) structuring transactions to avoid reporting taxable income to the Internal Revenue Service, and (2) causing a false tax return to be jointly filed, which acts were designed to conceal from and mislead proper officers of the United States as to Pousti’s and her husband’s true and correct income and taxes due thereon; in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7201.
According to the signed plea agreement, Pousti admitted that she was the office manager and in charge of handling the books for the business, as well as any cash payments. Payments she obtained for services rendered were in the form of checks, credit cards, and cash. Starting in approximately July 2004 and continuing until 2007, Pousti began concealing from the Internal Revenue Service cash income that her family received from the business. Pousti was in charge of providing information to the family’s accountant, and admitted that she knowingly concealed these cash payments from the family’s accountant. Pousti signed personal tax returns that she knew did not reflect the cash payment that her family had received from the business. Pousti caused false tax returns to be filed with the Internal Revenue Service for the tax years 2004 and 2005.
Pousti also admitted in the plea agreement that instead of depositing these cash payments into a checking account or reporting them to the Internal Revenue Service, she purchased money orders from various United States Post Offices in the Southern District of California. Pousti used these money orders to pay bills, including mortgage payments. Pousti knew that if she purchased at least $3,000 in money orders from a post office, she would be required to fill out a PS8105-A form, which would identify her by name, address, social security number, and driver’s license. Pousti knowingly
structured her transactions so she could avoid filling out the PS8105-A form, which would assist her efforts to evade the taxes due by hiding from law enforcement the true amount of cash that her family received from the business.
According to the plea agreement, the Government will recommend that Pousti pay restitution/income taxes due for 2004 and 2005 to the Internal Revenue Service in the amount of $60,017 ($6,160 for 2004, $53,857 for 2005) plus penalties and interest in an amount to be determined by the Internal Revenue Service.
“Plain and simple – Individuals who earn income should accurately report their income to the IRS,” said Debra D. King, Special Agent in Charge for the Los Angeles Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigation.
“The Postal Inspection Service remains committed to investigations of tax evasion when postal services are misused to hide income and avoid detection by law enforcement,” said B. Bernard Ferguson, Inspector in Charge, Los Angeles Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
Pousti is scheduled to be sentenced before Judge Sabraw on October 3, 2008.
This joint investigation is being worked by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
For more information regarding cases involving filing false and fraudulent returns, please visit www.IRS.Gov.