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Monday, May 5, 2008

No. 1 Tax Delinquent in SF: This Ain’t My Fault!

Posted By on Mon, May 5, 2008 at 7:45 AM

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Seven San Franciscans do our city "proud" by placing on state's list of top tax delinquents

By Joe Eskenazi

Having crashed a party at the home of a dot.com hotshot – two words: indoor pool – at a mansion once owned by members of Londonbeat, only to discover Miller Lite in the fridge, I can tell you this: It’s no great shakes to bank a million dollars anymore.

But to owe a million dollars: Well, that would be something.

And, if Xin Mian Pan is to be believed, it ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. According to the Franchise Tax Board, Pan is the No. 1 tax delinquent in all of San Francisco to the tune of $2.89 million.

His rejoinder: “They [the Franchise Tax Board] made some big mistakes!”

Believe you me, I felt just the same way when they dinged me for a $24 late filing fee.

Pan – the No. 4 tax delinquent in the state – heads the California's public list of tax delinquents, which you can read in full here. In a caveat made all the more humorous by its utter lack of humor, the FTB notes that those on the list can have their names removed if they “Pay the liability in full.”

Boy, if only someone had mentioned that before $2.89 million in unpaid taxes rolled up.

Pan told me that he is a day trader, and claims the FTB “counted what we sold, the profit. But they didn’t add the cost when we bought the stocks.” When asked what stocks he bought that were so valuable that he could owe nearly $3 million in back taxes, he replied that he bought a lot of stocks.

“Of course we dispute it. They made mistakes. I’m figuring out [how much I owe] and my accountant is helping me. We are filing taxes right now,” he said during a brief phone call.

Pan then politely cut off our interview, claiming he was “really busy” (likely in a manner only those owing millions to the government can be).

And yet he has plenty of company in this manner of business. In San Francisco alone, six other men or women make the state’s list of top delinquents:

CLICK "MORE" TO VIEW THE LOCAL LIST!

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Paul Burriesci

San Francisco, CA 94085 $312,931.08

Robert T Yue

San Francisco, CA 94122 $306,803.90

John V Erickson

San Francisco, CA 94118 $250,628.00

Ann Martin

San Francisco, CA 94142 $232,599.11

James G Savoldi

San Francisco, CA 94123 $220,602.94

James D Jefferson

San Francisco, CA 94117 $217,434.90

(Incidentally, Los Angeles notched 15 members on the list – and, yes, the “Orenthal Simpson” owing $1,527,925.92 at No. 15 on the list is this guy.).

Pan was not at all put out or cranky when contacted on the phone, which doesn’t exactly fit in with one’s preconceived notions of how someone on the taxman's shit-list would behave. Our simplistic world views were assuaged, however, when Robert Yue’s phone turned out to be disconnected. John Erickson, meanwhile, said his debt “has been taken care of … I don’t really want to talk about it.”

When asked his opinion on the state publicly shaming its tax delinquents, he coolly replied “I don’t have any thoughts on it.” He turned out to be "really busy" as well, so that interview didn’t last long.

And yet Erickson doesn’t realize how lucky he is. Plenty of folks grouped on a list with O.J. Simpson end up dead, in jail or, worse yet, Kato Kaelin.

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.

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