Duluth mortgage broker admits cheating feds

ATLANTA -- A Duluth mortgage broker who pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to evading income taxes could face up to five years in prison and a quarter-million dollars in fines, authorities said.

Keith Kim, 47, admitted to evading a large part of the federal income taxes he owed in 2004. He's scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court in July.

Authorities said Kim failed to report income checks made out to his business by real estate closing attorneys. He joins a bevy of alleged tax cheats federal prosecutors are targeting as tax season winds down.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said tax fraud ultimately affects every facet of Georgia's citizenry, as it steals funding used for services such as education, highways and health care.

"Each year our federal law enforcement agencies dig through records and follow paper trails to people who thought they could get away with cheating on their taxes," she said of the ongoing investigations.

Kim struck a plea agreement with prosecutors that forces him to pay restitution to the IRS for 2003 and 2004 outstanding taxes. That amount will be determined before or at his sentencing, authorities said.

By statute, the maximum sentence for each count of tax evasion is five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.