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Peoria Heights CPA Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Client; Tax Evasion

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2011

Peoria, Ill. – A Peoria-area certified public accountant, James Boyd, waived indictment today and pled guilty to one count each of wire fraud and tax evasion as charged in an information filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois. Boyd, 57, of Peoria Heights, admitted to defrauding former clients and their associated corporations of approximately $850,000 and failure to pay approximately $175,288 in federal taxes. Boyd appeared today before U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm. Sentencing is scheduled on September 20, 2011.

During today’s court hearing and in court documents, Boyd admitted that beginning in about 2000, he wrote unauthorized checks to himself from the corporate accounts of one of his clients. The funds were then used for personal expenses. Additionally, Boyd admitted that he paid personal credit card bills out of the corporations’ accounts and set up his personal American Express credit card to have the payments automatically debited from the corporation’s account. To conceal the embezzlement, Boyd admitted that he classified a number of the checks written to himself as “owner distribution” in the books and records he maintained for the corporations.

Boyd further admitted that he failed to file personal federal tax returns for the years 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2008, and that he filed a false tax return for 2007 that omitted the embezzled income because he was seeking college financial aid for a family member.

For the offense of wire fraud, the maximum statutory penalty is up to 20 years in prison; for tax evasion the penalty is up to five years in prison.

The case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Darilynn J. Knauss.

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