Lehigh Valley

Feds: Northampton County real estate agent charged with tax evasion

The feds are looking to come down hard on a Northampton County real estate agent accused of evading the payment of more than $130,000 in federal income taxes.

Lilliam Zawaraski, 60, of Easton, willfully avoided paying $131,349 in federal income taxes between 2007 and 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

If convicted, she faces up to five years behind bars and a maximum fine of $250,000.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Zawaraski avoided her outstanding tax liability by:

-- Refraining from using her name in the 2003 purchase of her family's current home, making it an asset unreachable by the IRS. However, she has lived in the house since its purchase; she personally made mortgage payments on the house, and she claimed a credit for the mortgage interest deduction in her annual income tax filings.

-- Paying numerous other creditors than the IRS.

-- Purchasing luxury goods and services instead of paying the owed taxes.

-- Using cash extensively by immediately converting the large majority of her paychecks to cash , thus leaving little in her bank account that could be seized by the IRS.

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