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Waipahu farmer sentenced in income tax case, facing deportation

A federal judge today sentenced a Waipahu basil farmer who under-reported his income in 2010 by more than $600,000 to 18 months in prison.

With credit for time served and good behavior, Xiang Ping Song may wind up spending little if any more time behind bars. But that means the Chinese national will get deported sooner rather than later.

Song, 56, pleaded guilty in April to making a false statement on his 2010 federal income tax return, reporting on his income tax return that he had earned $310,559 when he had actually earned $957,382. He has been in custody since his arrest in February last year.

U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson also ordered Song to pay the IRS $257,939 and the state Department of Taxation $80,535 in back taxes for 2009 and 2010. He handed down the prison term with no period of post-incarceration court supervision so as not to delay the deportation. But that also limits the court’s ability to collect the restitution.

Song was facing deportation to China even before his indictment and arrest last year.

He entered the country in 2005 illegally and in 2006 applied for political asylum. An immigration judge rejected Song’s asylum application in 2010 and ordered him deported. He appealed the immigration judge’s order first to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which in 2012 upheld the deportation order, then to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in February backed the board’s decision.

Song told Watson through an interpreter that he loves this country. If given an opportunity to stay Song said he will reform himself, contribute to society and pay the money he owes the government.

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