Date: June 2, 2022 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Niraj Patel, of Mason, Ohio, pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return and false statements and concealment of facts in documents required by The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). On May 2, 2022, Patel was charged by bill of information. According to court documents, in 2019 Patel made two hardship withdrawal requests from his retirement plan. On June 21, 2019, Patel completed a hardship withdrawal application and submitted it to Latitude Retirement Services, the Plan's third-party administrator ("TPA") for processing. The TPA processed the hardship withdrawal and on July 1, 2019, $90,000 was withdrawn from the Plan's Assets held at K-Trade/Mid-Atlantic Trust Co. The $90,000 withdrawal was deposited into Patel's personal checking account on July 1, 2019 and was used for purposes not permitted by a hardship distribution. On October 2, 2019, Patel executed a second hardship request for $75,000 to be used for medical expenses. Only $34,500 of the $75,000 request was approved and it was withdrawn from the Plan's Assets held at K-Trade/Mid-Atlantic Trust Co. By October 21,2019, $35,200 was used by Patel for purposes other than permissible hardship uses. Patel also failed to report the distributions on his 2019 tax return. Patel received two Forms 1099-R for the distributions totaling $124,500. Patel did not provide the Forms 1099-R to his return preparer. Patel knew that not providing the Forms 1099-R to his return preparer would cause a fraudulent return to be filed. False statements and concealment of facts in documents required by ERISA is punishable by up to five years in prison. Filing a false tax return is punishable by up to three years in prison. Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office and officials with the Department of Labor – Office of Inspector General announced the plea. Assistant United States Attorney Anthony Springer is representing the United States in this case.