A former Shorewood couple is headed for federal prison after more than a decade eluding authorities while living and doing business in Thailand and China.
“I’ve been prosecuting for 15 years, and I’ve never had someone flee and remain on the lam for 12 years,” said Karen Schommer, an assistant U.S. Attorney. “It’s unusual.”
Anthony Maki, 64, and Julie Maki, 45, were each sentenced to 44 months in prison Thursday for bank fraud, money laundering and related charges involving primarily about $1 million in mortgages they converted for personal use. The Makis, who had a successful business making Beanie Babies paraphernalia, were both indicted by the IRS in 2001, but fled during the investigation. They were arrested by Thai officials on behalf of the IRS last year after a U.S. embassy worker recognized them.
Schommer said the Makis had been doing business in Southeast Asia — they were even featured and photographed as Marco and Nicole Maki in a glossy news release in 2009 for their involvement in a swimming pool chemicals business — but had no apparent intention of ever coming back. The warrant for their arrest had remained on the books in the meantime.
“The IRS is persistent,” Schommer said.