The owner of a Frankford liquor store was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison and six months of subsequent home detention for tax evasion after he understated the store's earnings by more than $1.5 million and structured bank deposits specifically to avoid IRS inquiries, according to prosecutors.
Chung K. Choi, 47, of Woodbine, the owner of Frankford Garden Liquors in the 5400 block of Sinclair Lane, filed corporate tax returns from 2006 to 2009 that understated earnings at the store by $1,572,162, according to Maryland U.S. AttorneyRod J. Rosenstein.
From March 2009 to December 2010, Choi also made large cash deposits into his bank accounts, always under the $10,000 amount that would automatically trigger the bank to report the amount to the IRS, Rosenstein said. Choi deposited more than $745,000 in this manner, Rosenstein said.
In addition to his prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett also ordered Choi serve three years of supervised release and pay more than $533,000 in restitution to the IRS and more than $206,000 in restitution to Maryland — together equaling the total amount Choi owes in taxes, Rosenstein said.
"Corporations, just like individuals, are required to pay their fair share of taxes," Special Agent in Charge Rick A. Raven, of IRS Criminal Investigation, said in a statement. "Understatement of taxable income and structuring deposits are striking examples of not paying your fair share. This sentence today assures the American public that IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to bringing violators of federal tax law to the table of justice."