Sea Dreams is closed and seized by the state

WICHITA — In November, Sea Dreams owner Lynne Penny told Have You Heard? she was going to try to keep her store open despite being more than $76,000 behind in state taxes.

“I’ve been trying to work it out with them for about two years now,” she said at the time.

It didn’t work.

The state seized Penny’s assets and this week closed the 10,000-square-foot store, which sells fish, aquariums and related products.

Sea Dreams has been on East Harry in front of Office This for four of its 10 years in business.

The state says Penny owes more than $500,000 in back taxes.

A release from the Kansas Department of Revenue says, “Only after several unsuccessful attempts does the Department take this type of aggressive warrant execution action of seizing assets, which in this instance resulted in the business being closed.”

Department spokeswoman Freda Warfield says she can’t talk about this specific case, but in general she says a business can’t reopen unless a large chunk of its debt is repaid.

Penny didn’t return several calls for comment.

The revenue department’s release says there’s “a court order prepared and ready to go for a quick sale.”

After a judge authorizes a sale, an auction company will notify other similar businesses, such as pet stores, and immediately sell all fish and any other live merchandise. The rest of the merchandise will be sold at another auction.