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Lakewood business owner pleads guilty to tax fraud

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Aug. 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
August 30, 2011 4:34 pm

A Lakewood business owner today pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns in a scheme that defrauded the state of $92,543 in sales tax, according to the state Department of Revenue.

Jong Cheon, owner of Smoke and Beer and More, rang up purchases in the store with two different cash registers depending on whether the customer used cash or debit/credit cards, according to court documents.

Prosecutors contend the business only reported 27 percent of its retail sales tax from 2006 to early 2009. An audit uncovered the scheme.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Brian Tollefson ordered the store to pay $700 in victim penalties and court costs. Cheon has already paid a $146,768 tax assessment that included the stolen tax penalties, with interest.

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