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East Bay men get prison sentence for Brisbane Recycling Company fraud scheme

PIX Now - Morning Edition 11/29/23
PIX Now - Morning Edition 11/29/23 07:12

Two men from Danville and Pleasanton received over two and a half years in federal prison Tuesday for fraud and tax evasion, the U.S. Department of Justice Northern District of California said.

Joseph Nubla, 45, is the president of Brisbane Recycling Company, Inc., which is a rock-crushing business located in that city. Henry Ku, 56, served as counsel for the company and Nubla, but also owns several businesses.

Both men were convicted by a jury in April of conspiring to defraud the United States from 2008 to 2016. Nubla was also convicted of tax evasion for failing to report more than $5.8 million in income on his 2014 federal tax return.

According to prosecutors, Nubla ran the daily operations at his recycling company and Ku owned and controlled several other businesses. Ku and his entities deposited checks written by Nubla from the Brisbane company that totaled more than $18 million. To avoid paying taxes for Brisbane, Nubla expensed Brisbane's payments to Ku as royalties for the use of heavy equipment purportedly owned by Ku's entities. However, Ku actually used the money from Brisbane to buy that equipment.

Ku would return the funds he got from Brisbane to Nubla through money transfers, buying homes for Nubla, and by writing cashier's checks totaling $7 million pursuant to a fake loan, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Nubla in turn did not declare the funds given to him by Ku as personal income, even though they were taxable dividends.

"These defendants skirted paying their taxes out of pure greed," said U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey in a statement released by the DOJ.

Nubla was given a sentence of 36 months in federal prison and Ku received 30 months. They also must pay fines of $15,000 and $10,000 respectively, and over $9 million in restitution.

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