A federal grand jury in Newark unsealed an indictment today charging the operator of a New Jersey construction business with tax evasion, employment tax crimes, aiding the filing of false tax returns, and making false statements in bankruptcy.
According to the indictment, Zeki Donuk, of Landing, operated a construction business first under the name Titan Builders LLC and later as Titan Steel Construction LLC (collectively, “Titan”). From at least 2016 through 2019, Donuk allegedly cashed checks payable to Titan instead of depositing them into business bank accounts. Donuk allegedly concealed the cashed checks and did not report them either as gross receipts on Titan’s corporate tax returns, or as income on his or his wife’s personal returns.
According to the indictment, from the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017 Donuk also did not collect, account for, or pay over to the IRS employment taxes on behalf of Titan’s employees, despite a legal obligation to do so. For those quarters, Donuk allegedly did not file quarterly employment tax returns on behalf of the businesses.
The indictment charged that in 2019, Donuk allegedly made false statements on documents he filed in a personal bankruptcy case. Specifically, Donuk allegedly concealed from the Bankruptcy Court that he owned a vacation property in Pennsylvania, had signatory authority over certain bank accounts, owed tax debts to the IRS, and operated his construction business as Titan Builders and Titan Steel.
If convicted, Donuk faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each count of tax evasion, employment tax violations, and bankruptcy fraud charges and a maximum penalty of three years in prison on each of the counts of aiding or assisting the filing of false tax returns. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax 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 merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.