Comptroller's List Of 50 Eluding Maryland State Taxes Includes L - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Comptroller's List Of 50 Eluding Maryland State Taxes Includes Locals

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SALISBURY, Md. - Paying taxes may be a nuisance for some but for those who decide not to pay, the Maryland Comptroller's office may make their lives a bit more frustrating.

Like Nicholas Shahan of Illusions Game Store in Salisbury.  It was once a go-to place for games and Comics, but now the Comptroller's office is after it for non-payment of taxes.

Comptroller Peter Franchot says the business owes nearly $140,000, landing it on this year's annual "Caught in the Web" list that details 25 businesses and 25 people who owe the state big. There's a total of $13 million among the two lists.

"Reluctant as I might be to publicize people's tax liabilities, these are not people who are indigent and who've lost their jobs because of a bad economy," said Franchot. "These are people who owe the state a lot of money, and the only fair thing to do is have them pay it since they have the money to do it, but just choose not to."

The program was established in 2000, and has collected $27 million for the state. Franchot says this is a last resort, and those who were on the list were notified before it went public.

"Everybody here either had a lien or something tried to be placed on them, we just haven't been able to do it through the normal avenues," Franchot said.

Each of the 50 cases is unique in its path to the "Caught in the Web" list. Among them is Sharon Britton of Lewes, Del., who landed on the "Individuals" list, owing $160,000. But at the top sits Kristina L. Roberts of Upper Marlboro - who is also known as adult author "Zane." She is $340,833 in tax debt.

WMDT tried to get information on the story of Illusions, but the doors are closed permanently. Workers at neighboring stores say Shahan was a nice guy.  They say the store has been closed about a month, and he was seen cleaning it out late last week.

He may have disappeared for now, but Court records show he's no stranger to the law. He was cited in December for doing business without a license, and there and there are three prior cases involving the comptroller's office - all of them are now closed.

But Franchot says there are options - like payment plans - before it gets that far.

"It's only fair in our view if most Marylanders pay what they owe in taxes on time, that individuals and businesses like these ... do the same thing."

To see the full "Caught in the Web" list, click here: http://bit.ly/1fj2mBT

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