A Turlock man has entered a guilty plea to federal charges of tax fraud in connection with his hydroponics business.
Branden Adam Eidson, 35, of Turlock, pleaded guilty Monday to structuring financial transactions and filing a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Eidson was the owner of Hooked Up Hydroponics, a hydroponics supply business with locations in Turlock and Merced.
According to the court documents, Eidson failed to report more than $1.2 million in income from his business for the tax years 2008 through 2010. This unreported income resulted in a tax loss to the Internal Revenue Service of more than $430,000. In addition to misreporting his income, Eidson deposited more than $1.5 million in cash into his bank accounts in amounts of $10,000 or less to prevent his banks from filing Currency Transaction Reports on those transactions.
Eidson is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on March 21, 2016. Edison faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for structuring, and three years and a $250,000 fine for filing a false tax return. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Assistant United States Attorney Grant B. Rabenn and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Plante are prosecuting the case.