- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Arlington police arrested George King, the 45-year-old owner of Frank’s Towing, yesterday after he skipped a court appearance on a series of misdemeanor tax charges.

Mr. King, who was ordered in a 2003 case to pay refunds to dozens of car owners overcharged by his company, spent last night in Arlington County jail after he failed to appear in court yesterday morning.

Mr. King, of Woodbridge, has been in trouble with police since 2000 when he was first accused of charging too much for towing. Frank’s Towing, at 6820 Fairfax Drive, is the busiest towing business in the county. Of 123 complaints filed in 2000 against towing companies, 71 of them were against Frank’s Towing.

The latest charges, filed Nov. 23, accuse Mr. King of 20 counts of failing to register and report business income, failing to file tax forms, failing to maintain records and failing to withhold taxes and submit payroll taxes.

If convicted, Mr. King could get up to 20 years in prison and face $50,000 in fines.

Mr. King voluntarily surrendered on Monday and was released on personal recognizance to return to court yesterday morning.

It took a year, from November 2004 when police seized his records until Nov. 23 this year, for thousands of business records to be scrutinized. That chore fell to Amy Barr, a volunteer with the county’s Criminal Investigations Division.

Mrs. Barr has 20 years experience as an intelligence analyst with government agencies, primarily the U.S. Department of Justice and Treasury Department. She became a nationally recognized specialist during 10 years with the Immigration and Naturalization Service for her investigations of Chinese alien smuggling.

Police spokesman Matthew Martin said Mrs. Barr also assisted in denaturalization and deportation of Nazi war criminals; uncovered evidence of drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorism; and was a liaison between law-enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Originally, the complaints against Mr. King were that his towing company was charging more than a legal Virginia limit of $85 and $95. Mr. King, formerly an Arlington County police officer, objected that the state limitation had not been reviewed and revised as required by law.

In December 2003, Circuit Judge Paul F. Sheridan ordered Mr. King to pay $50 each on 56 counts, a total of $2,800, for which Mr. King was originally expected to pay $11,200. The first fines of $200 on each charge were reduced by a plea agreement on condition of Mr. King’s good behavior.

In March this year, the U.S. House of Representatives agreed with Rep. James P. Moran, Virginia Democrat, that states must increase regulation of towing companies.

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