Placer County Couple Sentenced for Tax-Related Offenses

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Foresthill couple was sentenced today for tax-related offenses, and have agreed to pay over $605,000 in restitution, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

Virendra (Vic) Maharaj, 55, was sentenced to 364 days in prison for willfully failing to file tax return information with the U.S. Treasury related to his receipt of cash while engaged in trade or business. Maharaj’s wife, Rosalin R. Prasad, was sentenced to 24 months’ probation for a conspiracy to defraud the United States with respect to the Internal Revenue Service’s assessment of income taxes. They pleaded guilty on Dec. 9, 2021.

According to court documents, Prasad conspired with Maharaj to defraud the IRS in the IRS’s attempts to assess the couple’s tax obligations for the years 2005, 2006, and 2007. Maharaj worked at car dealerships in Sacramento and Woodland in those years and earned substantial income. Several actions were taken to further the conspiracy to thwart the proper assessment of income taxes. Among other things, part of Maharaj’s wages were paid directly to Prasad; part of Maharaj’s compensation was paid directly to Prasad and Maharaj’s creditors through indirect payments; Maharaj took compensation in the form of currency; Prasad improperly deferred around $270,000 in capital gains related to her purchase of a $1.9 million residence; Prasad caused false tax returns to be filed in each of those years; and Prasad made false statements during an IRS audit. Prasad conspired to underreport over $819,000 in income and, in turn, underpay over $184,000 in federal income taxes. She received substantial tax refunds in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

According to court documents, Maharaj was an owner, general manager, and salesperson of Maharaja Motors LLC, which operated a used car lot in Woodland, from approximately 2007 through 2016. In 2015, Maharaj sold a vehicle to a customer and, in turn, received a cash payment of over $10,000. Maharaj willfully failed to file information with the U.S. Treasury, specifically an IRS Form 8300, which is required to be filed by a person engaged in certain trades or businesses, including an automobile sales business, who receives a cash payment exceeding $10,000.

These cases were the product of an investigation by IRS-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nirav Desai and Audrey Hemesath prosecuted the cases.