Generations of radio listeners and TV peepers have suffered through the commercials for Buddy’s Carpet & Flooring, the rug chain with kitschy spots featuring Buddy himself, aka the late Burton B. Kallick.
Distinct for his ceiling-scraping whine, Buddy would berate his way through ads like an excited adolescent pleading a stony date for a squeeze — A SQUEEZE! — all in that signature out-of-tune-violin voice. The results: Truly. Terrible. Commercials.
Well, it turns out that while he was inflicting major metropolitan markets with audio pain, Kallick was keeping his money hidden from Uncle Sam. In the 90s, The company’s namesake and others bought bunk insurance policies in the Virgin Islands in order to keep money off the books. In total they were able to bilk the government out of $700,000 in tax dollars.
Even though Kallick died in 2007, his cohorts were left holding the bag — said bag in this case containing federal indictments for tax fraud. The final conspirator — former company co-owner Leif Rozin — was sentenced in Cincinnati last Friday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Rozin was slapped with a one-year prison sentence, 2,000 hours of community service, and forced to pay $380,000 in back taxes.
Three others are shouldering sentences thanks to the scam: company attorney Alan Koehler got 18 months; advisor Milton Liss took home a year sentence; and insurance man Bruce Cohen won a three-year stay in custody.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at [email protected].
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.