New Local Deadbeats Join State List of Top Tax Delinquents

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Bruce McNall
The State Board of Equalization list of California's top sales and use tax delinquents has welcomed 17 new members who owe nearly $22 million as a group--and, yes, some locals are among them.

Richard Steven Lansburg of Long Beach-based Best Billiards and a Fullerton filer for bankruptcy in 2000, leads the local contingent with $1,072,919.47 owed. Seven rungs down from him are W & J Higgins Investments, LLC/Sizzler Restaurants of Foothill Ranch with $546,783.20 owed, and Irvine web systems engineering firm Gemini Associates Inc. with $543,175.40 in unpaid taxes.

The top three newbie delinquents to the state board's list of the 250 top deadbeats are: Michael Cope of Chatsworth ($4,128,084.16 owed); Stars Petroleum Inc. of Ramona ($3,164,888.55); and ABC NJ Inc./Bosch Kia Isuzu of Carona ($1,607,647.99).

The 17 join the list of 250 as 17 other people and/or firms are removed for either having paid up or other board criteria for removal. The list is updated every quarter.

De Won Motors Group Inc. of West Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles and John Kwon of South Pasadena top the overall deadbeats list with $7,920,518.42 in sales or use taxes owed apiece, closely followed by former Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce Patrick McNall of Tarzana at $7,492,356.96.

Following McNall on the list is Irvine's John Kelly, who owes $5,078,671.18. Other locals who make the top 10 deadbeats are San Clemente's Fariborz Tavassol Kashani, who lands at No. 6 with $4,552,341.86 owed, and Laguna Beach's Michael Brian McCullough, who does business as Michael Brian Interior Design, who is No. 10 with $4,045,786.93 owed.

Two more Orange Countians make the top 25: Saga Enterprises Inc., which does business in Orange as United Auto Center and owes $2,403,018.70, and James A. Ortega, who does business in Anaheim as Jimmy O's Enterprises and owes $2,200,047.81. 

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