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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


NOVEMBER 18, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


OZARK BUSINESS OWNER PLEADS GUILTY

TO EVADING MORE THAN $2.5 MILLION IN TAXES


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the owner of an Ozark, Mo., business that manufactures welded steel trailers pleaded guilty in federal court today to tax evasion.


            Kyle Jon Thompson, 46, of Ozark, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this afternoon to a federal information that charges him with tax evasion. Thompson is the owner of Branson Trailer Manufacturing in Ozark.


            By pleading guilty today, Thompson admitted that he received taxable income of approximately $2.8 million in 2006. Thompson failed to file an income tax return and failed to pay the personal income tax owed of approximately $901,864. Thompson also admitted that he did not file federal income tax returns for his company or for himself from 1997 through 2006, and under the terms of the plea agreement acknowledged that the federal income and employment taxes he evaded totaled between $2.5 and $7 million.


            Branson Trailer produced approximately 3,000 trailers in 2006, with estimated gross receipts of $6.9 million. After allowing for expenses, the gross profit for 2006 was approximately $2.8 million. From 2003 to 2005, Branson Trailer produced a total of approximately 6,500 trailers, with estimated gross receipts totaling $14,950,000. Thompson’s personal income tax liability for those three years totaled approximately $1,956,182.


            Thompson attempted to conceal his income by paying his employees in cash (without withholding any required taxes, issuing and IRS Forms W-2 or 1099, or paying any withholdings to the government), by purchasing real estate and other property with cash, and by concealing his ownership interest in vehicles (including four limousines, three Corvettes, a Hummer, two Cadillac Escalades, a Lincoln Navigator, a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck, a Ford F250 pick-up truck, a Jaguar, a Ford Mustang GT, a Ford Thunderbird and a Ford Model-T) by not registering those vehicles with the county assessor’s office. Thompson also structured cash bank deposits to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements.


            Thompson also admitted that in 2004 he purchased a 2004 Keystone Everest travel trailer, which he knew or should have known had been stolen. Thompson paid $10,000 and traded eight or nine manufactured trailers for the travel trailer, which had a retail value of $51,000.


            Under federal statutes, Thompson is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Thompson must pay all taxes, interest and penalties prior to sentencing. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html