Two more are sentenced in cash-skimming scheme

December 18, 1996|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

Sentences were handed down Monday to the last two of 11 defendants who pleaded guilty to violating federal income tax laws related to cash-skimming schemes at three Chinese restaurants, including one in Laurel, federal Justice Department officials said yesterday.

Tuck Onn Wong, 38, of Beltsville, and Pin Sing Cheung, 42, of Potomac, admitted skimming cash from the Hunan House -- at U.S. 29 and Route 216 -- and the Hunan Inn and Mandarin Gourmet restaurants, both in Silver Spring.

In federal court in Greenbelt, Wong was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment and fined $10,000, and Cheung was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment and fined $30,000.

In October, Pao Wen Wang, 37, of Clarksville was sentenced to 24 months in prison and a $40,000 fine, and Tak Wai Wong, 34, of Columbia was given three months of home detention and a $500 fine.

Shortly after Internal Revenue Service agents executed search warrants at the restaurants in July 1994, Wang transferred $100,000 to his mother-in-law in Taiwan, officials said.

Tak Wai Wong pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return in connection with undeclared cash received at Hunan House.

Cash skimming at Hunan House enabled the restaurant to hide more than $223,000 in receipts between 1989 and 1992 and to under-pay its taxes by approximately $34,000, officials said.

On tax returns, the defendants "declared very small amounts of income" but they purchased large new houses in Howard County and the Potomac, said Stuart Berman, as assistant U.S. attorney.

At the other two restaurants, taxes were underpaid by more than $1.25 million and more than $3.8 million was not reported, officials said.

Also in federal court:

Chee Wah Kong, 33, of Rockville received three months of home detention and a $500 fine.

Hsiang-Cheng Wang, 50, of Potomac received 24 months in prison.

Peter Yau, 45, of Silver Spring was given nine months of home detention and fined $10,000.

May Shen Chou, 45, of Olney, Shin Jin Kang, 48, of Rockville, Wen Lin Wang, 39, of Rockville, and Chia Shen, 52, of Silver Spring were each sentenced to six months of home detention. Fines of $2,000 to $3,000 were imposed on each.

Pub Date: 12/18/96

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