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IRS Puts Huge Dent in Couple’s Long Running Tax Scheme

The owners of a successful auto body shop in Baltimore were each sentenced to one year and one day in prison for tax fraud. Ercin and Lizette Kalender were also ordered to pay restitution to the IRS in the amount of $2,219,602.

As part of their efforts to hide income from the IRS the Kalenders kept two sets of books, one that kept track of their actual sales and one that was given to their accountants.

For tax years 2015 to 2018 the Kalenders cashed more than 6.6 million dollars in checks at a check cashing facility and failed to report any of that income on their tax returns.

In 2018 the Kalenders tried to sell the business and shared the many ways they hid their income from the IRS with a prospective buyer who in actuality was an undercover federal agent. Ercin Kalender told the agent that he used to cash $50,000 to $60,000 in checks at a time but had recently reduced it to between $30,000 and $35,000. He also mentioned that his father had done the same thing for more than 30 years before he took over the business.

In 2019 the Kalenders became aware of the IRS investigation and reported gross receipts of 4.5 million dollars, double what they reported the year before.

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