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Beltsville cosmetics firm operator pleads guilty to tax evasion

The owner-operator of a cosmetics company in Beltsville pleaded guilty Thursday to income tax evasion, prosecutors said.

Bae Soo "Chris" Chon, 49, funneled revenue from Mirage Cosmetics Inc. into foreign bank accounts in Hong Kong and Seoul and understated his income on his personal income tax returns in 2008 and 2009, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Maryland said in a statement.

Mirage manufactured cosmetics at a facility on Tucker Street in Beltsville and then sold the products in the United States at chain stores, including Walgreens, Target and Costco, the statement said.

Chon also sold Mirage products internationally. He diverted about $1.8 million from foreign distribution deals into foreign bank accounts, prosecutors said, and understated his tax liability by almost $523,000.

Chon already has paid the Internal Revenue Service nearly $800,000 in restitution, interest and penalties. His sentencing is scheduled for February. He faces up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

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