Fort Cherry Ambulance owner ordered to relinquish fire truck

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A federal judge has given an agent with the Internal Revenue Service authorization to enter a garage of Fort Cherry Ambulance Service to seize a more than 80-year-old fire truck to satisfy more than $1.3 million in unpaid federal taxes.


U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon signed the order Thursday after the IRS presented probable cause that the 1931 Buffalo fire truck owned by Thomas Bruce is subject to levy by the federal government. Bruce is the owner of the ambulance service. The truck is reportedly in the ambulance service garage at 8603 Noblestown Road, Robinson Township.


Assessment of individual federal income taxes, plus penalties and interest for the years 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2008 were made against Bruce, 8200 Noblestown, for $1.305 million.


Documents filed in federal court indicate Bruce “neglected or refused to pay the full amount of taxes assessed with 10 days” of receiving notice and the neglect or refusal continues. Final notices of intent to levy were sent Jan. 30, 2008, and March 27, 2012.


The IRS revenue officer inspected the premises at 8603 Noblestown July 2. Attempts to secure consent were made at Bruce’s home and the garage, according to court documents. Bruce was not present. The revenue officer left the consent form and a request for a telephone call. Bruce’s power of attorney, listed in court records as Donald Calaiaro, called the revenue officer on behalf of Bruce in July and denied consent to enter the premises to seize the vehicle, court records indicate.


Bruce did not respond to messages left Thursday and Friday.


According to the ambulance service website, Fort Cherry Ambulance also has locations in Houston and Bentleyville. It covers 88 square miles in Bentleyville, Houston, McDonald and Midway boroughs and Mt. Pleasant and Robinson townships. The service was organized in 1998.


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