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Twilight's facing tax liens

October 16, 1997


Staff Writer

The company that owns Twilight's Ristorante and Deli on Potomac Street in Hagerstown failed to pay more than $195,000 in employer withholding taxes since 1995, according to tax liens filed in Washington County Circuit Court.

Twilight's Inc. owner and downtown leader Michael Pishvaian said he believes a former employee embezzled money from his business accounts.

The Frederick Police Department and the state's attorney's office have investigated the case and an arrest warrant has been issued, according to Frederick Police Det. Allen Droneburg. Charging documents alleging forgery, uttering and theft against the former employee have been issued but haven't yet been served, he said.

Pishvaian said he found out about the failure to pay withholding taxes about a year ago.

He said he had made arrangements to pay back the $195,000 over five years, and already had started making payments. He said he received $5,000 from an insurance policy against employee dishonesty.


Pishvaian said his businesses, which include about 30 apartments and a travel business in Hagerstown, and businesses in Frederick and Montgomery counties, are financially sound.

He said Twilight's Ristorante and Deli would not be affected by the debt and said the restaurant is doing well.

A tax lien means the government has the right to a business' assets in the amount of the owed tax, interest and other fees, said Domenic LaPonzina, an IRS spokesman.

In many cases, the money is paid back all at once or a payment plan is arranged, he said.

The lien is removed when the total is repaid. Only as a last resort will the government sell a business' assets to pay off the tax liability, he said.

The lien stays on until the last penny is paid, so someone may owe less than the actual lien listed, he said.

LaPonzina said he could not discuss specific cases.

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