Durangoan answers tax evasion charges in N.M. federal court

A Durango man appeared Tuesday in federal court in New Mexico on suspicion of federal income tax evasion.

Hak Ghun, 61, faces a three-count indictment accusing him of evading $367,809 in federal taxes during tax years 2005, 2006 and 2007, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.

Ghun has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is free pending further proceedings.

According to the indictment, Ghun was the chief executive officer of BCDS Manufacturing Inc., based in Shiprock, N.M., which provides reverse-osmosis systems.

The Navajo Nation in 2003 and 2004 invested economic-development funds in BCDS and became the majority owner of the company, the indictment says. In 2006, the Navajo Nation obtained a $2.2 million loan to expand the BCDS facility in Shiprock.

Ghun did not draw a salary from BCDS, but, instead, used corporate funds to pay his personal expenses, the indictment says.

Between 2005 and 2007, Ghun is suspected of spending $1.1 million in BCDS funds for his personal expenses. He is suspected of evading his personal tax obligations on those funds by concealing his conduct from BCDS’s corporate accountant and by filing false corporate tax returns on behalf of BCDS, the indictment states.

The maximum penalty for a conviction on each of the three counts is five years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathon M. Gerson.