SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (March 20)—Friend Tire Co. has entered a guilty plea to four misdemeanor counts of failing to file federal excise tax returns on nearly 5,000 truck tires imported from Canada. If the plea is accepted by the federal court in Springfield, the Monett, Mo.-based tire distributor and wholly owned subsidiary of Yokohama Tire Corp. will pay a $100,000 fine and admit to liability for almost $160,000 in unpaid taxes. Five years ago, the Internal Revenue Service seized Friend Tire´s records in a surprise raid related to the excise tax case, causing company President Don Isbell to complain of the IRS´ "strong-arm tactics" in a letter to his congressman and senators. Isbell declined comment on the pending plea, except to say he expects U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England to rule on it soon.
Friend Tire enters guilty plea in tax case
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