IRS Subpoenas Accounting Firm in Major Theft Ring Investigation

Published 08/07 2014 10:22PM

Updated 08/07 2014 10:28PM

The investigation into an alleged major theft ring broken up by raids conducted by federal, state, and local officials now has a connection to the president of the Evansville City Council.

19 people were arrested and charged in connection to the alleged multi-million dollar operation Tuesday.

Tonight, Evansville City Council President John Friend says his accounting firm has been subpoenaed along with one of his accountants. That accountant, Alicia Rudd, is the owner of Dealmaker's, the business at the center of the theft ring investigation. Rudd has not been charged in the case.

Rudd is the sister of Michael Ruper, one of the alleged masterminds behind the theft ring that investigators say involved millions of dollars worth of stolen merchandise that was later sold on eBay and local businesses including the former Super Flea Market.

Council President Friend says his firm, John Friend and Company, has never done business with Ruper.

"I don't recall even meeting her brother before," said Friend. Until I saw his face on Facebook,  I wouldn't recognize him in lineup matter of fact. No, we have never done any work whatsoever with anybody involved in all these, evidently, all these charges. I looked down and saw all those names. We've never done any work in way of personal income taxes, corporate, or partnership income tax returns or anything in that nature."

Friend confirms his business and his employed accountant Alicia Rudd have been subpoenaed by the IRS for their business records.

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