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November 17, 2016

Posted  November 17, 2016

A Kenner, Louisiana couple was sentenced for crimes related to the operation of their check cashing business, VJ Discount Inc., announced the Justice Department’s Tax Division. Susantha Wijetunge, aka VJ, 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Lance M. Africk of the Eastern District of Louisiana to serve 44 months in prison and his spouse, Manula Wijetunge, aka Manu, 48, was sentenced by Judge Africk to serve three years of probation. The Wijetunges owned VJ Discount Inc., a Louisiana corporation that operated a convenience store and check cashing business in Kenner. Susantha Wijetunge, VJ Discount Inc. and others cashed, for an inflated fee, fraudulently obtained tax refund checks for multiple co-conspirators. These transactions often involved multiple checks and tens of thousands of dollars. In an attempt to conceal this illegal activity, Susantha Wijetunge and others failed to file, or filed false, required currency transaction reports with the government. Susantha Wijetunge also filed multiple false individual and corporate income tax returns that underreported income. The Wijetunges admitted that VJ Discount Inc. had third party check deposits totaling more than $59 million in 2011; $47 million in 2012; and $66 million in 2013. Despite this large volume of business, the Wijentunges’ individual income tax returns reported total income of less than $100,000 per year. DOJ

Tagged in: Tax Fraud,