United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM AND OPINION GRANTING THE UNITED
STATES'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Rosenthal Chief United States District Judge
government seeks to collect taxes due for almost 20 years.
Why has the case taken so long? In large part because the
defendants have had, and taken, many opportunities to submit
or identify additional summary judgment evidence to support
their claim that they owe no taxes, penalties, or interest.
Despite those opportunities, the undisputed competent record
evidence establishes that: (1) Na Lin is indebted to the
United States Internal Revenue Service for $1, 420, 041.54
for unpaid income taxes for the year 2000, with penalties and
interest; (2) L & L International, Inc. is the alter ego
of Na Li, entitling the United States to enforce its tax
liens against both Na Li and L & L International, Inc.
for payment of Na Li's tax debt, and to liquidate any
property owned by or titled to L & L International, Inc.
or Na Li to apply toward payment of the income tax Na Li
owes; and (3) Na Li and L & L International, Inc. must
repatriate any funds that belonged to Na Li or L & L
International, Inc. that Na Li or her father, Bin Li,
transferred to the Bank of China or another foreign bank
account, which are impressed with federal tax liens, and Na
Li and L & L International, Inc. must turn over those
funds to the United States for payment toward Na Li's
$1.4 million federal income tax debt for the tax year 2000.
reasons for these rulings are set out in detail below.
The Summary Judgment Evidence
record includes the following exhibits submitted by the
1. Certificate of official record for Na Li's form 1040
for the tax period ending December 31, 2000.
2. A declaration by IRS Revenue Officer Anubhav
“Anu” Bagga, with attachments, establishing that
Na Li did not file a tax return for tax year 2000, triggering
an IRS audit and the filing of a substitute income tax return
for that year assessing a tax liability of over $1.4 million.
3. A deposition of Jacob Thomas, prior record owner of Bag
Republic, LLC, which employed and paid Na Li in 2009 and
4. A deposition of Na Li taken on December 3, 2018.
5. Certificate of formation for L & L International, Inc.
by its agent, JingMin Lu, filed on January 10, 2011.
6. Chase checking account summary for Na Li for April 2016 to
7. The deposition of Bin Li, Na Li's father.
8. A deposition of Na Li taken on January 23, 2018.
9. Assumed name certificate for L & L International, Inc.
to conduct business under the name of Bag Republic
International, filed on January 13, 2011.
(Docket Entry No. 39).
and L & L International, Inc. have submitted affidavits
1. Julian Chang, a broker associate with a real estate
company who, around the year 2000, was a financial consultant
for a stock trading company where JingXia Lu, Na Li's
mother, traded stocks.
2. Mimi Tan, a neighbor of JingXia Lu, who also traded stocks
at the same stock trading company.
3. TieChun Li, the brother-in-law of JingXia Lu, who had an
account at the brokering house where JingXia Lu traded
(Docket Entry No. 43-1).
summary judgment evidence is considered against the
applicable legal standards.
The Legal Standards
judgment is appropriate only if ‘there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.'” Vann v. City of
Southaven, 884 F.3d 307, 309 (5th Cir. 2018) (per
curiam) (quoting Hanks v. Rogers, 853 F.3d 738, 743
(5th Cir. 2017)). “A genuine dispute of material fact
exists when ‘the evidence is such that a reasonable
jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.'” Burell v. Prudential Ins. Co. of
Am., 820 F.3d 132, 136 (5th Cir. 2016) (quoting
Savant v. APM Terminals, 776 F.3d 285, 288 (5th Cir.
2014)). “The moving party ‘always bears the
initial responsibility of informing the district court of the
basis for its motion[.]'” Brandon v. Sage
Corp., 808 F.3d 266, 269-70 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)).
the non-movant bears the burden of proof at trial, ‘the
movant may merely point to the absence of evidence and
thereby shift to the non-movant the burden of demonstrating
by competent summary judgment proof that there is an issue of
material fact warranting trial.'” Nola Spice
Designs, L.L.C. v. Haydel Enters., Inc., 783 F.3d 527,
536 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Transamerica Ins. Co. v.
Avenell, 66 F.3d 715, 718-19 (5th Cir. 1995) (per
curiam)). While the party moving for summary judgment must
demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact,
it does not need to disprove the opposing party's case.
Coastal Agric. Supply, Inc. v. JP Morgan Chase Bank,
N.A., 759 F.3d 498, 505 (5th Cir. 2014). A fact is
material if “its resolution could affect the outcome of
the action.” Burrell v. Dr. Pepper/Seven Up
Bottling Grp., Inc., 482 F.3d 408, 411 (5th Cir. 2007).
“If the moving party fails to meet [its] initial
burden, the motion must be denied, regardless of the
nonmovant's response.” Pioneer Expl., L.L.C. v.
Steadfast Ins. Co., 767 F.3d 503, 511 (5th Cir. 2014)
(quoting Kee v. City of Rowlett, 247 F.3d 206, 210
(5th Cir. 2001)). In deciding a motion for summary judgment,
the court resolves all reasonable inferences in favor of the
nonmoving party. City and Cty. of San Francisco v.
Sheehan, 135 S.Ct. 1765, 1769 (2015).