Restaurateurs Plead Guilty to Theft of Sales Tax

Seattle, Wash., April 1, 2008 — The former operators of the Luau Polynesian Lounge in Seattle pled guilty today to siphoning off nearly $26,000 in sales taxes for personal expenses, including a $2,000 monthly lease on a luxury automobile.

Ki S. Kim, 57, pled guilty in King County Superior Court to a felony for filing a false or fraudulent tax document, and his wife, Sun E. Kim, 52, pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor for failure to remit collected sales tax.

The Renton residents already have paid back taxes of $25,716 and have admitted that they owe approximately $7,000 more in interest, penalties and assessments.

The charges were brought last November by the Criminal Justice Division of the Attorney General’s Office at the request of the Washington State Department of Revenue.

The couple, who have operated a string of businesses in the Puget Sound area since at least 1993, was forced to close the Luau Polynesian Lounge after defaulting on their purchase agreement in 2005.  The restaurant has since reopened and the current owners have no connection to the Kims.

Judge Joan DuBuque set sentencing for 1 p.m. May 9.  While the felony carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, and the gross misdemeanor has a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $5,000 fine, the state is not seeking jail time in this case.

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(360) 534-1602
KimS@dor.wa.gov

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