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Estranged Niagara Falls couple charged with tax fraud

An estranged Niagara Falls couple who used to jointly operate a tour and travel service there were indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Buffalo for allegedly filing false business and personal tax returns for two years. Lizhon “Tony” Shen, 58, and his former wife, Xiaojie “Lucy” Shun, 51, were both charged with conspiracy to defraud the government and subscribing to a false tax return. Ms. Shun was separately charged with a corrupt endeavor to obstruct and impede the Internal Revenue Service on another travel company she started after the couple separated in 2009.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. and Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline D. Ciraolo of the U.S. Justice Department’s Tax Division said that from 2004 to November 2009 while married the couple jointly operated the BTL International Company, Ltd. travel firm in Niagara Falls. They separated in 2009 and in 2011 Lucy Shun closed the BTL firm and opened and operated Niagara Falls Universal, Inc., another travel firm. Hochul said the couple is accused of failing to file correct tax returns in 2008 and 2009 both for their BTL corporation and for their personal tax returns. For 2009 they are accused of falsely claiming they jointly had only $22,880 in income when they allegedly had a significantly higher income.