For Lora and Jamey Costner, a $7,854 federal income tax bill is the painful indigestion that followed two unsatisfying servings of identity theft cooked up by two former Koch Foods employees, records indicate.
The criminal cases involving the Newport married couple and the two illegal immigrants, who IRS records indicate worked for Koch Foods, have been resolved in the court system.
The bitter aftertaste that remains is the unpalatable possibility of having their wages garnished to pay tax bills on income they never earned at the Morristown chicken-processing plant.
"The overall burden of it all is crushing us, please help," the Costners wrote in an appeal to U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn. "We have done all we know to do."
Mrs. Costner says she realized the magnitude of the problem in July when the IRS informed her that she and her husband failed to report approximately $30,000 in income they earned at Koch Foods during 2005.
The Costners say it's easy to prove they both worked at Wallace Hardware in Morristown during 2005. Relatedly, Mrs. Costner maintains it's child's play to prove they never worked at Koch Foods during that year.