By Jeannine anderson
WASHINGTON – A Silver Spring couple has been charged with three counts of income tax evasion, after allegedly receiving substantial sums of unrecorded cash from proceeds of casino nights sponsored by the Riverdale Fire Department.
A federal grand jury in Greenbelt returned an indictment Monday charging that Thanh U. Thai and his wife, Nhan T. Lam, of the 700 block of Pebble Beach Drive, attempted to evade income taxes for 1991, 1992 and 1993.
They are charged with filing false federal income tax returns and concealing the nature and extent of their income and assets from the Internal Revenue Service.
The indictment alleges that Thai and Lam reported joint taxable income of $39,371, $31,263 and $18,863 for 1991, 1992 and 1993, respectively, knowing that their true joint taxable income for those years was $155,891, $560,019 and $333,891.
If convicted, the two face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for each count, plus a $250,000 fine for each count, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland.
The couple denies the charges, said Stephen A. Shechtel, their attorney.
Shechtel said Thai owns a company that leased equipment to the fire department for its casino nights. “That’s as far as it goes,” he said.
According to the indictment, however, Thai and his wife used the Thanh Thai Corp. “to disguise the source” of the funds they took in as a result of the fire department’s casino nights.
The Thanh Thai Corp. leases equipment for blackjack and other games to the fire department for the casino nights, which are held twice a week, said Dave Sutton, vice president of the fire department. A trial date has not yet been set. -30-