Virginia couple pleads guilty to tax fraud conspiracy in Maryland

A Virginia couple has pleaded guilty to charges of tax fraud stemming from taxes filed for their Maryland auto body shop, a federal prosecutor said.

Ercin Kalender, 60, of Alexandria, Virginia and his wife, Lizette Kalender, 44, pleaded guilty on Thursday, said U.S. Attorney for Maryland Erek L. Barron in a news release. As part of their plea agreements, the Kalenders are ordered to pay $2,219,602 in restitution.

According to their guilty pleas, between 2015 and 2018, the Kalenders conspired to include false information on tax forms filed with the IRS on behalf of their auto body shop in Capital Heights, Maryland.

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Prosecutors said the Kalenders worked to divert revenue from the body shop to avoid significant revenues being deposited into its bank accounts and reported to the IRS. As part of the conspiracy, the Kalenders kept two sets of financial records for the shop, one that reported the actual revenues and profits of the business and a second set that reported lower figures which were used for tax purposes, the news release said.

The Kalenders face a maximum sentence of five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy. Their sentencing is scheduled for May 26.