Bay Area businessmen charged with $18 million in federal tax evasion

The president and corporate counsel for a Bay Area aggregate recycling business have been indicted on charges of conspiring to hide more than $18 million in taxable income from the IRS, court records show.

Joseph Nubla, of Pleasanton, and Henry Ku, of Foster City, were charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, and Nubla faces an additional tax evasion charge, court records show. Their first court appearance has been set for April 16 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley.

The charging records cover a six-year period from 2009-15, during which time Nubla was president and Ku was corporate counsel of the Brisbane Recycling Company, a business that specializes in crushing concrete and other minerals for reuse. It is alleged that as part of the scheme, Nubla wrote checks totaling $18,378,343 to businesses controlled by Ku, Pegasus Aggregate Inc. and Jupiter Prime Monarch, to conceal the money from the IRS.

Nubla is also accused of providing “false information to Brisbane’s tax return preparer that Brisbane monies paid to Pegasus and JPM were for legitimate business expenses, thereby causing inflated cost of goods sold and other false business deductions to be reported on Brisbane’s federal corporate income tax returns,” the indictment says. The pair allegedly used ill-gotten gains to purchase expensive Bay Area homes.

The indictment also charges Nubla with failing to report nearly $6 million in taxable income.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

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