Kristina Laferne Roberts, 47, who writes under the pseudonym “Zane,” owes the IRS almost $541,000 in back taxes, according to court documents filed by the government, the Washington Post reports.
In an attempt to shame the best-selling author, Maryland’s comptroller Peter Franchot also has said Roberts, specifically, owes the state $340,833.58. Franchot’s announcement was pegged to out her, along with 24 other individuals and 25 businesses, into paying their back taxes.
Hard to believe that the best-selling scribe behind such risqué books as Zane’s Addicted and Gettin’ Buck Wild: The Sex Chronicles II could be in so much debt. In addition to being a well-known writer, Roberts also has two shows on Cinemax (Zane’s Sex Chronicles, Zane’s The Jump Off) and owns an imprint known as Strebor Books International.
“Publishing her name on the Web is one of the last steps we take in a very long process,” Christine Feldmann, a spokeswoman for the state comptroller’s office, said. The agency cannot file criminal charges to collect the debt, Feldman added, but “can work with the attorney general’s office to investigate.” The current list includes liabilities of nearly $3.7 million in back taxes, penalties, and interest from 25 people and more than $11 million from 25 businesses.
On Jan. 27, the day of Franchot’s news conference, Roberts ignored the news of her financial difficulties via her Facebook page. “Whew! Finished my novel,” she posted. “Now I get to take the rest of the day off but I have to go right back to editing another book coming out this year tomorrow. It never ends but I love it. LOL.”
Her legions of lusting fans must be wondering how Roberts, a person with relationships in both the print and television realms, could end up in such financial dire straits worthy of one of her own skin-lit novels.
“We’re pretty confident that most of these people had the resources or have the resources right now to pay but they just choose to lawyer-up and avoid their responsibilities,” Franchot said.
Overall, the “Caught in the Web” program has collected more than $27 million, according to the comptroller’s office.