Dog broker sentenced to federal prison for filing false tax returns


Date: April 25, 2024


Justin Daniels has been sentenced for filing false tax returns in connection with his dog-brokering business. Daniels falsely underreported over $1 million in income between 2015 and 2018.

“Rather than pay his fair share of taxes, Daniels spent years submitting fraudulent returns in the name of personal greed,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This office will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to pursue and prosecute those who exploit our tax system at the expense of law-abiding taxpayers.”

“Justin Daniels’ sentence is an example of what people who willfully fail to report all their income can expect as the outcome of their crime,” said Lisa Fontanette, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field Office. “IRS Criminal Investigation will continue investigating and holding accountable individuals who intentionally conceal income and evade taxes.”

According to U.S. Attorney Buchanan, the charges and other information presented in court: Since 2006, Daniels had earned a living as a dog broker selling Yorkie, Morkie, and Shi-Tzu puppies. Although Daniels’s customers believed he was selling the puppies directly, the puppies were being raised by breeders in Kentucky and Tennessee. This dog brokering business was lucrative and the cost of the puppies ranged from $800 to $1,200. Between 2015 and 2018, Daniels received and deposited more than $2.3 million into personal checking accounts. Daniels significantly underreported his income on his taxes. Based on information that Daniels provided to his tax preparer, Daniels underreported $1,186,830 in gross receipts during the years 2015 to 2018, resulting in additional tax due of $258,265. At the same time, Daniels was submitting false information on his tax returns and representing to private lenders that he made substantially more money to obtain loans.

Justin Daniels, of Marietta, Georgia, was sentenced to one year, two months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release on April 22, 2024. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $258,265. Daniels was convicted on these charges on December 5, 2023, after he pleaded guilty.

This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David A. O’Neal and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Krepp prosecuted the case.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office by email or by phone at 404-581-6016. For more information, check the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.