Monday, April 25, 2011

Local business owner sent to jail for tax evasion

The O reports (and apparently no one has told them that gypsy is actually a racist term) that a local gypsy has been sent to jail for a year for tax evasion.  Bobbie Ephrem, a local car dealer and leader of the local Roma community, basically fought the law and the law won.  The IRS issued a jeopardy assessment against almost $3 million is assets taken from Ephrem in a dramatic raid in 2006.

Bobbie Ephrem, and his attorney, Marc Blackman, sued the government for a return of the money claiming that the jeopardy assessment against the money was not appropriate, and that the government was racially biased against Roma's, essentially punishing Mr. Ephrem for having a lot of cash laying around, which is part of the Roma (gypsy) heritage.  Ephrem won, and the feds had to pony up his dough.

However, he won the battle to lose the war, as the IRS, stinging a little from the defeat, sent in an informant to determine that the last tax return that Ephrem filed, in 2006 after the jeopardy assessment, understated his business revenue by about $1 million, leading to a tax liability of $109k.  While it is very uncommon for a person to go to jail for not paying taxes in the low six figures, when you go to war the IRS, you better win.

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