Man wanted by IRS captured in Wyoming

Aberdeen physicist was target of 18-month tax evasion probe

April 09, 2000|By Gail Gibson | Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF

Warned last fall that it was likely he would be charged with federal tax evasion, Thomas A. Korjack didn't hang around to see what would happen, investigators said yesterday.

A nuclear physicist at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Korjack, 49, took out a $280,000 mortgage on his Churchville home, liquidated his investments and started missing work for days at a time, according to a federal affidavit.

A week ago, Internal Revenue Service detectives caught Korjack in Wyoming, where he was living under an assumed name. He was arrested in Cheyenne, Wyo., on March 31. On Wednesday, Korjack was indicted in U.S. District Court in Baltimore on charges of filing false and misleading tax returns from 1993 through 1995.

Neighbors told investigators that they last saw Korjack and his family packing a U-Haul truck in the middle of the night Nov. 23.

After Korjack left Maryland last fall with his wife, Lucy, and their two sons, investigators say he initially headed to Canada. He was stopped Nov. 29 by Canadian border police who found $46,000 in cash and 16 weapons stored in the U-Haul the family was driving. The family was detained for 10 hours, then told to return to the states, according to the affidavit.

Korjack is being held in Wyoming, where U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson ruled Friday that the suspect is a flight risk, according to a Justice Department press release.

Before he was a target of federal investigators, Korjack was a high-level physicist at Aberdeen with a doctorate from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and security clearance, according to an affidavit signed in January by IRS investigator Robin L. Lord.

But his tax returns dating to 1991 raised questions with the federal government. In January 1999, the IRS completed an 18-month investigation of Korjack that turned up a number of discrepancies, according to Lord's affidavit.

For instance, In 1991 Korjack falsely claimed a loss of $24,640 on rental property in Bel Air, the affidavit charges. With his 1992 tax return, Korjack allegedly submitted six altered credit card receipts to support a medical deduction of $818.66 -- although he also inadvertently submitted the original receipts, which totaled only $38.66.

According to the affidavit, the problems continued. In 1993, Korjack allegedly failed to report $18,837 in rental income. And in 1994 and 1995, he allegedly deducted travel expenses for attending work conferences even though he already had been fully reimbursed by his employer.

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