20 Sep 2017
- By Bryan Manabat – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
ASSISTANT U.S. Attorney James Benedetto is asking the federal court to allow the U.S. government to disclose United Brothers Inc.’s tax returns in connection with the case against five defendants charged with fraud in a foreign labor contracting scheme. The company was purported to be the employer of the complaining victims.
Six defendants were originally indicted in the District Court for the NMI: Muksedur Rahaman, MD Rafiqul Islam, Shahinur Akyer, David Trung Quoc Phan, Analyn Nunez and Zeaur Rahaman Dalu,
But Dalu has entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. government and pled guilty to counts three and four of the amended superseding indictment.
Phan, president of United Brother Inc., is accused of participating in a scheme to defraud foreign nationals by recruiting them from Bangladesh for jobs in the U.S. through misrepresentation and false promises, Benedetto said.
He added that Phan utilized U.S. mail or the services of a private or commercial interstate carrier in furtherance of the scheme.
According to the prosecutor, Phan is expected to argue that he intended to hire the foreign nationals, but terminated their contracts after finding they lacked the skills to perform the jobs for which they were recruited.
Benedetto said the tax returns — none of which show any of the Bangladeshi victims as employees of the United Brothers Inc. — are relevant because they tend to show that Phan never intended that the Bangladesh nationals would be employed by the company.
The tax returns also show that Phan did not withhold any CNMI taxes under Chapter 2 of the Northern Marianas Territorial Income Tax even though such withholdings were taken from his legitimate employees, Benedetto said.
The prosecution wants to introduce the tax records of United Brother’s employer’s quarterly withholding tax return for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters of tax year 2016.
Benedetto is requesting the federal court to issue an order that allows the U.S. government to disclose the tax returns at trial after authenticity and admissibility are established.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/98679-us-government-wants-to-disclose-united-brothers-tax-returns