​For release on August 16, 2016   CONTACT:
Vonda Tracey, Deputy District Attorney
Major Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2580   HEAD OF CHARITABLE FOUNDATION CHARGED WITH TAX EVASION   A South Bay accountant faces felony tax evasion charges for taking donation deductions from his charitable foundation that did not serve its purpose. The foundation was set up to grant scholarships to rural students in Taiwan.    According to a Franchise Tax Board investigation, Jimmy Chen, 62, of Saratoga, evaded close to $60,000 in state taxes by taking the deductions and filing false returns. He used the charitable foundation funds to pay personal expenses, including a luxury condo equipped with a karaoke room.   Chen faces six felony counts of tax fraud. If convicted, he may face up to six years and four months in state prison. Chen is scheduled to be arraigned today at 1:30 p.m. in Department 23 of the Hall of Justice in San Jose.   “Tax evasion undermines the fairness that is important in our community’’ prosecutor Vonda Tracey said. “The District Attorney’s Office proactively pursues these types of cases."   The investigation shows that Chen set up the tax-exempt ChenSung Family Foundation in 2004. Other than a single contribution of $250, ChenSung Family Foundation did not use its funds for any charitable purposes during the investigation period.    Instead, evidence shows that Chen spent the foundation funds on a luxury condo in Taiwan that advertised such amenities as an indoor golf range, premiums on a life insurance policy for his wife at the time, and other personal expenses.   Evidence further shows that Chen gave seminars on charitable foundations and helped others to set up the foundations similar to his for a fee. If anyone has further information they can contact Deputy District Attorney Vonda Tracey 408-792-2580.   # # #

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