The owner of several retail pharmacies was convicted Monday on two counts of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and four counts of aiding and assisting in subscribing to false tax returns, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Rao Desu of Warren was a 50 percent owner in DVS Pharma Inc., doing business as Heights Pharmacy in Piscataway; and Manvihar Pharmacy, doing business as Arthur Avenue Pharmacy in Bronx, N.Y.
From April 2004 through November 2013, Desu conspired with Heights Pharmacy’s lead pharmacist Darshna Desai to conceal money from the IRS earned by a cash-skimming scheme at Heights Pharmacy. From June 2005 to November 2013, Desu conspired with the co-owner of Arthur Avenue Pharmacy to conceal money from the IRS earned by a separate cash-skimming scheme at Arthur Avenue.
The other 50 percent owner of Arthur Avenue Pharmacy worked there as the lead pharmacist but is not named in Carpenito’s announcement.
From tax year 2004 to 2012, Desu and Desai filed false corporate income tax returns. For tax years 2005 through 2012, Desu and the Arthur Avenue Pharmacy co-owner also filed false corporate income tax returns. Additionally, Desu’s personal income tax returns were also false from tax year 2004 through 2012.
Conspiracy to defraud the IRS carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and assisting and aiding in subscribing to false tax returns carries a maximum potential penalty of three years in prison and a $100,000 fine.
Desu will be sentenced at a later date. Desai’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2020. She pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS in 2014.