Jay Scott Soderling, Santa Rosa, California and Jessica Lynn Soderling, Santa Rosa, California, were convicted by a federal jury, after a five-day trial, of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. The jury also convicted Mr. Soderling of one count of tax evasion.
In 1987, Jay Soderling pled guilty to bank fraud in connection with the collapse of Golden Pacific Savings and Loan and served 8 years in federal prison.
The evidence at trial showed that the defendants were both involved in efforts to conceal assets from the IRS to avoid payment of Mr. Soderling’s tax liabilities. Specifically, during 2004 and 2005, Jay Soderling evaded payment of his tax liabilities by hiding money and assets belonging to him in the name of a corporation. Subsequently, in 2008 and 2009, after the IRS discovered he was keeping his personal assets in the corporation, The Soderlings worked together to further conceal assets by, among other things, moving money from the corporation’s account into a bank account opened for this purpose in Mrs. Soderling’s name. Jay Soderling originally was indicted on August 9, 2011, for a single count of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C. § 7201. A superseding indictment was later filed adding the 18 U.S.C. § 371 conspiracy charge against the couple.
In finding Jay and Jessica Soderling guilty of conspiracy, the jury concluded that the evidence demonstrated the defendants obstructed the lawful functions of the IRS by deceitful or dishonest means as charged in the indictment. In addition, the evidence produced at trial demonstrated that Mr. Soderling willfully evaded payment of taxes he owed to the United States. According to papers filed with the court, beginning in July 2004, the IRS began attempting to collect Mr. Soderling’s tax liabilities. Mr. Soderling admitted owing the IRS approximately $90,000, but he made written and oral statements to IRS employees misrepresenting his ability to pay the debt. Among other things, Jay Soderling told the IRS he had no significant assets, that he had negligible income, and that he did not expect his financial situation to change. In reality, Mr. Soderling knew that he was well on his way to receiving an enormous financial windfall from several real-estate transactions. The government also demonstrated Mr. Soderling failed to disclose his use of corporate funds to purchase a Dodge Viper, a new boat, and other personal items.
The maximum statutory penalty for conspiracy to defraud the United States, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 371, is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of tax evasion, in violation of 26 U.S.C § 7201, is five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The conviction was announced by Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, Acting Special Agent in Charge Andrew Toth. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael G. Pitman and Jose A. Olivera are prosecuting the case. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation