TRENTON, NJ — Rao Desu, the owner of a Piscataway pharmacy has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for conspiring to defraud the IRS, announced U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.

The sentenced was handed down on Wednesday after investigators determined Desu, who co-owns both the Heights Pharmacy in Piscataway where he is the lead pharmacist, and the Arthur Avenue Pharmacy in the Bronx, conspired with the other co-owner, Darshna Desai, filing fraudulent business and personal tax returns to conceal cash income that was earned by the pharmacies between 2004 and 2013, said Carpenito.

Desu, 53, of Warren, NJ was convicted on two counts of conspiracy to defraud the IRS and four counts of aiding and assisting in subscribing to false tax returns, following a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp in Trenton federal court, said Carpenito.

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He was also sentenced to two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $15,000 in fines and $459,075 in restitution.

According to court documents, “Desu’s relative, who assisted at times in the operation of several of Desu’s businesses, instructed Desai to separate the cash earned by Heights Pharmacy from other income received, remove a portion of the cash that was paid to Desai as cash salary, and then split the remainder in two, with one portion given to Desu and the other portion given to Desai.”

The three also skimmed cash in a similar manner from the Arthur Avenue Pharmacy between 2005-2013.

Desai pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the IRS in 2014 and is awaiting sentencing, said Carpenito.

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