New Jersey construction company operator charged with tax offenses and bankruptcy fraud | Takeover bid
A federal grand jury in Newark today unsealed an indictment charging the operator of a New Jersey construction company with tax evasion, employment-related tax crimes, aiding in the production of false declarations of income and false declarations of bankruptcy.
According to the indictment, Zeki Donuk of Landing first operated a construction business as Titan Builders LLC and later as Titan Steel Construction LLC (collectively, “Titan”). From at least 2016 through 2019, Donuk reportedly cashed checks made out to Titan instead of depositing them in corporate bank accounts. Donuk allegedly concealed the cashed checks and reported them neither as gross receipts on Titan’s corporate tax returns nor as income on his or her wife’s personal returns.
According to the indictment, from the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, Donuk also failed to collect, record, or remit employment taxes to the IRS on behalf of Titan employees, despite a legal obligation to do so. For those quarters, Donuk would not have filed quarterly employment tax returns on behalf of the companies.
The indictment charged that in 2019, Donuk allegedly made false statements on documents he filed in a personal bankruptcy case. Specifically, Donuk allegedly hid from bankruptcy court that he owned vacation property in Pennsylvania, had signing authority over certain bank accounts, had tax debts to the IRS, and operated his construction business under the name Titan. Builders and Titan Steel.
If convicted, Donuk faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count of tax evasion, employment tax violation and bankruptcy fraud and a maximum sentence of three years of jail on each of the counts of aiding or abetting the filing of false tax returns. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and financial penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Assistant Deputy Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Taxation Division and U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger for the District of New Jersey made the announcement.
IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI, and the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration are investigating the case.
Trial Attorneys Melissa S. Siskind of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Levin are prosecuting the case.
An indictment is only an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.