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Monday, March 20, 2023

Valley retail store owner convicted of tax evasion

Prosecutors say Sung Hwan Lee, operator of Arizona’s BBB Fashion stores, reported less than $9 million of his income between 2012 and 2016.

PHOENIX — The owner and operator of Arizona’s BBB Fashion stores has been convicted of tax evasion after reporting less than $9 million in income.

Sung Hwan Lee, 64, of Peoria, recently pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was sentenced to two years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.

The Arizona US Attorney’s Office said Lee ordered his retail employees to give him the cash generated from the sales and then prepare falsified records to omit the cash receipts.

This “cash skimming” scheme resulted in Lee underreporting his income by more than $9.3 million between 2012 and 2016, resulting in a tax loss of more than $3.6 million to the federal government.

Prosecutors say the BBB Fashion accountant was previously convicted of conspiring to defraud the government and will be sentenced on December 1.

BBB Fashion has retail stores in Avondale, Maryvale, Laveen, West Phoenix and Tucson.

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