News

Owner of Maryland Pawn Shop Pleads Guilty to Evading Taxes On over $18.4 Million in Income

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2010

Baltimore, Maryland - Yooho Weon, age 39, of Centreville, Virginia, pleaded guilty today to attempting to evade income taxes for tax years 2004 through 2008, during which time Weon had income of more than $18.4 million.

The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Rebecca Sparkman of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Keith Fixel 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 Interim Chief Mark Magaw of the Prince George’s County Police Department.

"Prosecuting individuals who intentionally conceal income is a vital element in maintaining public confidence in our tax system," stated Rebecca Sparkman, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge, Washington DC Field Office. "Willfully filing a false tax return is the same as stealing and there are serious consequences."

According to Weon’s plea agreement, in 2009, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) received information that Yooho Weon, also known as “Peter,” was failing to report income to the IRS. Weon is the owner of Parkway Pawn Shop, Inc. and Earth 1 Computer, Inc. DBA Bargains 101 / Parkway Pawn Shop, located at 5664 Annapolis Road in Bladensburg. IRS records show that Weon has not filed any U.S. Corporate Income Tax Returns for 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. As part of his business, Weon purchased items in his pawnshop and generated gross income from online sales through his website, eBay, flea markets, cash sales from his store and credit card sales. eBay / PayPal records revealed that Weon and his business have been selling merchandise online and received approximately $6,531,334.47 between May 31, 2000 and August 27, 2009. 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 2004-2008, none of which was reported to the IRS.

The total tax loss owed to the IRS is approximately $2,400,000.

Weon faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of five counts of attempting to evade income taxes. U.S. District Judge Benson E. Legg has scheduled sentencing for March 25, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Baltimore County Police Department; Federal Bureau of Investigation; and the Prince George’s County Police Department for their work in this investigation and commended Assistant United States Attorneys Kwame J. Manley and Richard Kay, who are prosecuting the case.

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