Milpitas car exporter pleads guilty to crime in scheme to avoid income taxes on multi-million dollar income


Date: March 30, 2023


OAKLAND — Jie Suo, owner of a South Bay luxury car exporting business, pleaded guilty today to interfering with the administration of internal revenue laws stemming from statements she made to IRS investigators to corruptly impede their investigation into her multi-million dollar business she failed to disclose in her tax filings to avoiding paying several years' income taxes for the business, announced United States Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Special Agent in Charge Darren Lian. The guilty plea was accepted by the Hon. Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr., United States District Judge.

Suo of Milpitas, Calif., is a sole proprietor who owned and operated Golden Source Trading and Agneau Mobility — two companies that exported luxury vehicles to China. According to the plea agreement, Suo admitted that the business earned over $18 million in gross receipts from 2011-2017; however, rather than pay applicable taxes on the business income, Suo embarked on a scheme to avoid paying applicable income taxes and then made statements to federal agents to impede and hinder their investigation into her earnings.

Suo admitted that she did not disclose the existence of the businesses on four tax returns that she signed and filed with the IRS; indeed, Suo acknowledged that she paid nothing in federal income tax for the calendar years 2013 through 2016.

The plea agreement describes how Suo spoke with federal investigators by telephone on May 16, 2019, and in person on May 23, 2019, and made statements to hinder the IRS investigation with the intent of avoiding criminal prosecution from the pending IRS investigation. Specifically, after agreeing to speak with the IRS investigators voluntarily and after repeatedly being reminded of her obligation to be truthful, Suo denied that her business was profitable and made numerous corrupt statements to minimize her conduct and portray herself as a victim of loan sharks, poor investments, and poor advice. For example, Suo stated that she did not employ her son for his export car business; that she operated the businesses at a loss; that she reported her business sales to her tax preparer; and that the money used to purchase a home in Pittsburg was provided by a loan. Suo acknowledged in her plea agreement the truth of the facts she denied and her corrupt intent in hindering the investigation. Suo further acknowledged that, in contrast to the statements she made to the IRS investigators, her business was sufficiently profitable that she owed nearly $1 million, $997,673, in taxes to the federal government.

On March 27, 2023, Suo was charged by Superseding Information with four counts of making and subscribing a false tax return, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7206(1), and one count of corrupt endeavor to obstruct or impede the administration of Internal Revenue laws, in violation of 26, U.S.C. § 7212(a). Pursuant to today's plea agreement, Suo pleaded guilty to the obstruction charge. If Suo complies with the plea agreement, the remaining counts will be dismissed at sentencing.

Suo faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to three years in prison. In addition, as part of sentencing, the court also may order Suo to pay a fine of up to $250,000, to pay restitution of at least $997,673, and to serve an additional period of supervised release of up to a year to begin after her prison term. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Judge Gilliam scheduled Suo sentencing hearing for July 12, 2023.

Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas Green and Maya Karwande are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jasmine Sanders and Kay Konopaske. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the IRS-CI.