Annapolis couple indicted on tax evasion charges

Accusations include underreporting earnings from plumbing business

August 13, 2004|By Sarah Schaffer | Sarah Schaffer,SUN STAFF

A federal grand jury has indicted an Annapolis couple on charges of tax evasion and filing false tax returns in connection with their former plumbing business, U.S. Attorney Thomas M. DiBiagio said yesterday.

The five-count indictment alleges that Henry M. Eberly, 75, and his wife, Dolores, 74, "did willfully and knowingly attempt to evade ... a large portion of income tax" - an amount prosecutors estimated at $138,000 - in the late 1990s. They also are accused of underreporting income from their business, Eberly Plumbing Inc.

The indictment alleges that the couple reported a taxable income of $9,163 in 1997, but earned more than $208,000 during that time.

The indictment also alleges similarly large discrepancies in the Eberlys' tax filings for 1998 and 1999.

If found guilty, each could receive a maximum of 21 years in prison and could be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars, prosecutors said.

Marcy Murphy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, said it is "highly unlikely" that the Eberlys, if convicted, would serve such terms.

Reached yesterday evening at home, Henry Eberly said he hadn't heard about the indictment.

"I don't know anything about it," Eberly said. "I can't imagine what it's all about."

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