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Businessman claims he had settled payroll tax issue

HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 7, 2011) - Hawaii businessman Wagdy Guirguis, who has been trying to build a new landfill on leased public land in Santa Rita, allegedly owes the federal government nearly US$1 million in employee payroll taxes, according to documents filed in Hawaii.

The Internal Revenue Service on Oct. 19 filed a US$940,856 tax lien against Guirguis' property, alleging he owes employee payroll taxes dating back to March 1999.

The total tax debt, including interest and penalties, is for 15 separate tax periods, according to the lien filed with Hawaii's Bureau of Conveyances. The bureau keeps land records, similar to Guam's Department of Land Management. According to the Hawaii bureau staff, there is no record of the tax lien being released.

According to the IRS lien form, the government demanded payment, but the debt remains unpaid, so the United States government has attached a lien to all his property and rights to property.

Guirguis recently said the IRS in 2002 accepted a compromise offer in connection with the tax debt, but he said the offer somehow fell "through the cracks," and the lien notice was filed.

He said his attorneys are working to get the original compromise offer reinstated.

"It's unfortunate," he said. "That (tax debt) was very old."

Guirguis said the taxes are in connection with businesses not related to Guam.

According to the notice of federal tax lien, most of the tax debt is for 1999 through 2001.

The lien also states taxes are owed as recently as 2008 -- US$10,632 for the tax period that ended in June 2008 and US$28,871 for the tax period that ended September 2008.

Guirguis is president of Guam Resource Recovery Partners (GRRP), which has been leasing 87 acres of Chamorro Land Trust Property in the Guatali area of Santa Rita since December 2002. The company plans to build a landfill there and currently is going through a government permitting process.

Guirguis and GRRP do not own that property, which is being leased at US$4,400 per month, based on a March 2003 property valuation. The lease, which allows for extensions every five years, potentially could last until the end of 2022.

The Land Trust holds large tracts of public land in trust to benefit the island's indigenous Chamorros. It issues residential and agricultural leases to eligible applicants and also issues commercial leases, such as the Guatali lease, in order to earn money to benefit the Land Trust and its programs.

GRRP is current with its lease payments, Land Trust officials said during a recent public hearing.

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