Pawn Shop Owner Sentenced to over 2 Years in Prison for Evading Taxes on over $18 Million in Proceeds from Sale of Merchandise

Federal Tax Loss is $2.4 Million

February 23, 2012

Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg sentenced Yooho Weon, a/k/a “Peter,” age 40, of Centreville, Virginia, late yesterday to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for attempting to evade taxes owed on more than $18.4 million of income earned for the tax years 2004 through 2008. Judge Legg also ordered that Weon pay restitution of $2.4 million to the IRS.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric C. Hylton of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - Washington Division; Chief James W. Johnson of the Baltimore County Police Department; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

“The evidence shows that Yooho “Peter” Weon generated millions of dollars in profits while evading taxes on his lucrative income,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “The scheme was uncovered after federal investigators discovered evidence that Mr. Weon’s business bought and sold millions of dollars worth of stolen merchandise.”

“No matter what the source, all income is taxable,” said IRS Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Eric Hylton. “The prosecution of individuals who willfully take from others, what is not theirs, will get the full attention of the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.”

According to his plea agreement, Weon owns Parkway Pawn Shop, Inc. and Earth 1 Computer, Inc., doing business as Bargains 101/Parkway Pawn Shop, located at 5664 Annapolis Road in Bladensburg, Maryland. Weon sold items in his pawnshop, online through his website and eBay/PayPal, and at flea markets. IRS-CI learned in 2009 that Weon failed to file federal corporate income tax returns for 2003 through 2008. Records of eBay/PayPal sales revealed that between May 31, 2000 and August 27, 2009, Weon received approximately $6,531,334.47 from online sales. This money was wired into Weon’s bank accounts. Other bank records from Weon's companies show total gross sales from the businesses of $18,418,796.84 from 2004 to 2008, none of which was reported to the IRS.

Judge Legg determined at the sentencing hearing that the total tax loss owed to the IRS is $2.4 million.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the IRS - CI; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Baltimore County Police Department; FBI; and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in this investigation. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Sujit Raman, Richard Kay and Joyce K. McDonald, who prosecuted the case.

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