GOSHEN — A large amount of illegal stereo equipment seized from a local businessman in 2009 went into a shredder this week, according to the Indiana Attorney General’s office.
In all, 14 pallets of untaxed stereo equipment seized from Edward Dale Christner went into an industrial shredder, according to an announcement from Attorney General Greg Zoeller.
The seized merchandise was in storage until it went to the shredder. Testing of six of the stereo units indicated they could start a fire, so Zoeller’s office decided to destroy the equipment.
“The Attorney General’s office enforces laws against sales-tax evasion, and because of concern that this substandard electronic equipment was unsafe if used, we did not want to risk the chance that the defendant’s merchandise would re-enter the marketplace and be re-sold to consumers,” Zoeller said.
Christner stored the items in an Elkhart warehouse and used a van to sell the equipment in area parking lots, according to Zoeller.
Authorities executed a search warrant for Christner’s Goshen home and his Elkhart warehouses in March, 2009, as part of a sales-tax enforcement effort, according to Zoeller.
Christner pleaded guilty in Marion County in late 2009 to failure to collect or pay state sales tax and failure to permit examination of sales tax records, both felonies, the Attorney General’s office reported. Christner was sentenced to probation.
Zoeller’s office also got a civil tax judgement of $823,607 against Christner, which the state is still trying to collect.
Zoeller’s office reported that Christner sold audio equipment worth $50 to $100, but had the boxes labeled as worth $3,000 to $4,000. He’d haggle people down to from $200 to $500, and never collected tax on the transactions, according to the state.