Contractor pleads guilty to charge of tax evasion

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

March 24, 2007

A prominent highway bridge painting contractor for the state pleaded guilty yesterday to tax evasion after failing to pay the government more than $1.2 million in personal and corporate taxes, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

Athanasios Reglas, 57, also pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to creating a complex accounting scheme that hid more than $800,000 in income from the government, federal prosecutors said.

According to the plea agreement, Reglas used names and bank accounts of two fictitious companies he created to bill the Reglas Painting Co. for subcontracting work that was never performed. Between tax years 1999 and 2002, Reglas used the company's funds to build a vacation home in Ocean City and buy a waterfront lot for $400,000, prosecutors said.

Reglas transferred money from shell companies into personal bank accounts, where he structured withdrawals to hide the amount of income he was receiving from his business. This structuring scheme hid some $873,000 over more than five years, officials said. Authorities searched Reglas' home and business, and seized documents and approximately $358,000 in cash. He has agreed to forfeit the cash to the government, prosecutors said.

Reglas could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $500,000 fine for structuring financial transactions; and five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for tax evasion, according to prosecutors. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz has scheduled sentencing for July 11.

Carroll County: Piney Run Park

No fishing at lake through Friday

The Piney Run Park lake will be closed to fishing through Friday so staff can prepare for the annual Early Bird Fishing Tournament. No fishing from the shore or boats will be allowed until the tournament, scheduled for 6 a.m. to noon March 31. Staff will be tagging fish this week for the tournament. The park is at 30 Martz Road near Eldersburg. For information on the tournament, call the park office at 410-795-5165.

Baltimore: Circuit Court

Man gets 25 years in assault case

A 43-year-old East Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to 25 years in prison for his role in an assault that left his victim permanently paralyzed.

Tyrone Smith, of the 1000 block of N. Broadway, was convicted Jan. 23 by a jury of first-degree assault for the attack on Rodney Armstead, now 42, according to the Baltimore state's attorney's office.

Prosecutors said that on May 1, 2005, Armstead was walking in the 2000 block of Ellsworth St. in East Baltimore when a man known to him as "Slick" - later identified as Smith - grabbed him by the arm. Another man struck Armstead from behind, and a third man joined in the attack.

The three men flipped Armstead upside down onto the concrete, prosecutors said, and then began kicking, beating and stomping him. Armstead's injuries have left him confined to a hospital bed in a nursing home, prosecutors said.

Fundraiser

Bridal gown sale benefits nonprofit

The Woman's Industrial Exchange will host a bridal gown fundraiser tomorrow with more than 40 designer wedding gowns - all of which will be sold to benefit the nonprofit organization. The Bridal Sweet event will feature dresses from designers Amsale, Marisa, Nicole Miller, Paloma Blanco and Vera Wang. The Woman's Industrial Exchange, located at 333 N. Charles St., will be open today from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. so that brides can preview the dresses. The sale will take place from noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow. Information, 410-685-4388.

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