The Washington Post

Maryland make-up manufacturer pleads guilty in tax evasion scheme

A local make-up manufacturer who sold lipstick, nail polish and blush to retailers around the world pleaded guilty to tax evasion on Thursday in federal court in Maryland.

Bae Soo “Chris” Chon, the former owner of Mirage Cosmetics in Greenbelt, engaged in a scheme to divert at least $1.8 million from overseas cosmetics sales to foreign bank accounts, according to the plea deal.

Chon has agreed to pay $412,404 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service for federal taxes owed in 2008 and 2009, prosecutors said, and faces a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a $100,000 fine.

“Hiding income and assets offshore is not tax planning; it’s tax evasion,” Rick A. Raven, Special Agent in Charge of IRS criminal investigations in the Washington field office.

Chon’s sentencing is set for Feb. 14 before U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles, Jr.

Chon no longer owns the company, which marketed products to major retailers such as Walgreens and Target. Mirage was acquired by a large international cosmetics company in March 2011 for $39 million, according to court documents.

Ann covers legal affairs in the District and Maryland for the Washington Post. Ann previously covered state government and politics in California, New Hampshire and Maryland. She joined the Post in 2005.


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