Comptroller Releases List of Delinquent Taxpayers

Montgomery County taxpayers among 20 individuals, 25 businesses who owe more than $12.7 million


Published:

Peter Franchot

via Maryland State Archives

Doctors, lawyers, an unregistered security broker and the estate of a late Armenian oil tycoon were caught in the same web on Wednesday.

Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) came to the Somerset town hall to release his annual list of the biggest tax scofflaws in the state.

The 2018 list includes 25 businesses and 20 individuals that collectively owe more than $12.7 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest to the state.

Among the individual delinquent taxpayers are Warren Brown, a prominent defense attorney in the Baltimore area; Joshua Yudell, who lists a Trump Tower address in Manhattan and ran into trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for unlicensed activities a few years back; Kermit Childress, a Pennsylvania plumber dubbed “Kermit the Fraud” by the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office after a criminal case in 2016; and Levon G. Airapetian, an oil tycoon from Armenia who died in 2017 while serving a controversial sentence in a Russian prison.

Five Montgomery County taxpayers are on the list:

  • William and Barbara Bollman of Bethesda, $301,455;
  • Joann Langston of Rockville, $252,467;
  • Shelley A. Reid of Germantown, $190,741;
  • Malik and Shannon Goins of Germantown, $187,164; and
  • Rex and Stephanie Ransom of Poolesville, $148,609.

Venus D. Hill is the largest delinquent individual taxpayer in the state, with the comptroller’s office alleging more than $1.5 million in arrears.

The tax liabilities for the delinquent individual taxpayers is $6,425,859 in total.

Twenty-five delinquent businesses owe $6,326,071, according to the comptroller’s office. The largest delinquent account is for Sharpsburg Shell & Snax near Hagerstown, which owes more than $1.6 million. Four Montgomery County-based businesses are listed: Counter Intelligence, Inc. in Silver Spring ($587,964); Hayat Building Service, Inc. in Gaithersburg ($209,083); Garey Construction Inc. in Derwood ($98,385); and Kor Variety Inc. in Bethesda ($22,061).

Assistant Comptroller Joseph Shapiro said the office does not research the stories behind those individuals included on the list, but makes multiple efforts to reach out to them before releasing the annual delinquency list. Efforts include intercepting federal tax returns and filing state tax liens in court.

“This is one of the last actions we’ll take,” Shapiro said after Wednesday’s announcement.

Nevertheless, the publicity surrounding the annual list is an effective tool, Shapiro said. The Comptroller's Office has collected more than $45 million from delinquent taxpayers whose names appeared on one of the agency's lists since the program's inception in 2000.

Those included on the list are notified prior to the list's posting that they will be included. 

"My Caught in the Web program highlights a small number of individuals and businesses that make a conscious effort to not pay their taxes,” Franchot said in a press release. "The vast majority of Marylanders pay their fair share of taxes, and my office is committed to ensuring that everyone does. These people have chosen to take advantage of the benefits of this great state while thumbing their noses at the taxpayers who fulfill their legal obligations.”

Shapiro said the announcement was made at the Somerset Town Hall on Wednesday to symbolize how delinquent taxes can harm small communities.

“These people aren’t just cheating the state, they’re cheating their neighborhoods and small communities,” Shapiro said.

The full list of delinquent taxpayers is online at www.marylandtaxes.gov.

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