A couple that owns a Sterling Heights restaurant has been charged with filing false tax returns and possessing software that falsifies sales transactions, the Michigan Attorney General’s office announced Thursday.
Ki Yon Ahn, 73, and Seo Jong Yoo, 62, were arraigned July 21 in 41A District Court on six counts of filing a false sales tax return and one count of possession of an automated sales suppression device. A probable cause conference hearing was held Monday, state officials said.
The charges they faced, each five-year felonies, also were brought against their business, Ki Wa Jip Inc., known as Chung Ki Wa, according to the release.
A state Department of Treasury analysis found that since 2013, the owners allegedly failed to report or remit more than $165,000 in sales tax, officials said.
An investigation found the eatery had a “zapper,” or software that retailers use to manipulate their Point of Sale software database, the attorney general’s office said.
“These internal records are usually extremely difficult to alter by the retailer. However, with a zapper, these databases can be manipulated or programmed in a variety of ways to suppress sales data, and thereby under-report a business’ tax liability,” investigators wrote.
“Committing fraud against our state will not be tolerated and my office will continue to hold those who believe they are above the law accountable for their actions,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said Thursday. “Individuals or business owners intentionally committing fraud do so out of personal greed and must face the consequences.”
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