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Erotic novelist tops list of Maryland tax cheats

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Erotica novelist Zane has landed on best-seller lists and sold millions of books. But apparently she hasn't kept up with her tax bills.

Maryland Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot on Monday announced that the Prince George's County resident whose works include "Love is Never Painless," "Purple Panties" and "Missionary No More" tops the list of state tax evaders.

Zane, known as Kristina L. Roberts to tax collectors, owes more than $340,800 in individual tax liabilities, according to the comptroller.

On Monday, Mr. Franchot's office released the names of 25 individuals and 25 businesses that owe more than $15 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest to the state of Maryland. The "Caught in the Web" program is meant as a sort of last resort by the office as it draws public scrutiny to those who owe money in an attempt to collect the unpaid taxes.

"Obviously it's not a tactic we enjoy taking but for some of these folks they won't respond any other way," comptroller spokeswoman Christine Feldmann said.

Other individuals on the list owe between $226,100 and $60,300 in taxes.

"These are not people simply down on their luck and unable to pay, but individuals and business owners who knowingly thumb their noses at the vast majority of Maryland taxpayers who fulfill their legal obligations to the state," said Mr. Franchot, a Democrat.

The Caught in the Web program is responsible for the collection of more than $27 million from delinquent taxpayers since 2000, Ms. Feldmann said.

The 25 businesses on the list owe more than $11 million in taxes. Delinquent businesses include Silver Spring comic book store Alliance Comics; Ellicott City Italian restaurant Portalli's; and Vera's White Sands Beach Club in Lusby.

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