OAKLAND -- The president of an Oakland roofing company was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty for conspiring to cheat the Internal Revenue Service, authorities said Thursday.
Tae Son Lee, also known as Mike Lee, 52, the president of Westco Roofing Inc., also was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton to pay a $367,656 fine, according to Melinda Haag, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.
Lee pleaded guilty in April to the conspiracy charge that was part of a 50-count indictment handed down in 2010. He admitted to being the sole shareholder in Westco Roofing and that he established several "shell companies" between 2003 and 2008 that he used to impede the IRS in its assessment and collection of Social Security and Medicare taxes.
Shell companies are companies that exist but don't do business or generate any assets.
Lee, according to the plea agreement, made "subcontractor" payments to these companies and used the companies' bank accounts to pay employees of Westco Roofing. Social Security and Medicare taxes were not removed from those checks, authorities said.
Lee is scheduled to begin his sentence Nov. 5.
Rick Hurd covers crime. Contact him at 925-945-4780 and follow him at Twitter.com/3rdERH.