Date: June 7, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

A federal grand jury in Brooklyn, New York, returned an indictment on June 4, charging a New York City woman with conspiring to defraud the United States and aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return.

According to the indictment, from 2008 to 2013, Alice Bixuan Zhang of Queens owned and operated Welling Physical Therapy and Acupuncture PLLC (Welling) and, from 2012 to 2013, co-owned Wellife Physical Therapy and Acupuncture PLLC (Wellife). Both businesses had locations throughout New York City. As charged, Zhang and her co-conspirator took multiple steps to reduce the income they reported and taxes they paid to the IRS. They allegedly diverted funds from Welling and Wellife to other entities that they controlled ("Related Companies"), and Zhang and her co-conspirator reported those funds as deductible business expenses, thereby reducing the taxable income of Welling and Wellife. Zhang and her co-conspirator then allegedly sought to conceal from the IRS income earned by the Related Companies by cashing checks made to those firms at a check cashing business, and not disclosing that income to their tax return preparers, which resulted in the preparation of false income tax returns.

Zhang will make her initial court appearance at a later date before a U.S. Magistrate Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. If convicted, she faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy charge and three years in prison for assisting in filing a false return. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department's Tax Division and Acting U.S. Attorney Mark J. Lesko for the Eastern District of New York made the announcement.

IRS Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Trial Attorneys Anahi Cortada and Thomas F. Koelbl of the Tax Division are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.