Local business owners arraigned on charges for filing false sales tax returns, possession of sales suppression device
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Husband and wife business owners in Macomb County were recently arraigned on charges for filing false tax returns and for the possession of an automated sales suppression device or “zapper.” The couple’s Sterling Heights business, Ki Wa Jip Inc. d/b/a Chung Ki Wa, has also been arraigned on the same charges.
Ki Yon Ahn, 73, and Seo Jong Yoo, 62, were arraigned on the charges July 21 before Judge Stephen S. Sierawski of the 41A District Court in Macomb County. They, along with their business, are charged with:
- Six counts of filing a false sales tax return, a five-year felony;
- One count of possession of an automated sales suppression device, a five-year felony.
A “zapper” is software that retailers can use to manipulate their Point of Sale (POS) software database. POS software is designed to record a merchant’s sales in some form of database program that can provide its user with accurate up-to-the minute sales and business and accounting information. 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 underreport a business’ tax liability.
After learning that Ki Wa Jip was likely in possession of an automated sales suppression device, the Department of Treasury analyzed the business’ reported sales and determined that Ki Wa Jip had allegedly been significantly under-reporting its sales.
The analysis by the Department of Treasury ultimately determined that since 2013 the business owners allegedly failed to report or remit more than $165,000 in sales tax.
“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,” Nessel said. “Individuals or business owners intentionally committing fraud do so out of personal greed and must face the consequences.”
A probable cause conference for Ki Yon Ahn and Seo Jong Yoon took place Aug. 3 before Judge Annemarie M. Lepore. Future court dates have not been scheduled.
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