OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
OCTOBER 16, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FORMER TAX PREPARER SENTENCED FOR
$1 MILLION TAX FRAUD
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former Kansas City, Mo., tax preparer has been sentenced in federal court for fraudulently preparing nearly 300 tax returns that falsely claimed more than $1 million in business losses for his clients.
Donald Bushnell, 56, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009, to three years in federal prison without parole.
Bushnell was the owner of Bushnell Contract and Labor Service, a sole proprietorship that prepared individual federal income tax returns. On April 14, 2009, Bushnell pleaded guilty to preparing false income tax returns in order to obtain either inflated refunds or reduced taxation for his clients.
Bushnell claimed business losses for his clients on forms submitted to the IRS, thereby reducing their taxable income. In reality, Bushnell’s clients did not maintain businesses and did not incur any business losses. Bushnell did not inform his clients of those misrepresentations, nor did he have authority from his clients to engage in those misrepresentations.
Bushnell prepared 272 false and fraudulent federal tax returns from Jan. 9, 2001, to June 6, 2005, for a total tax loss to the United States of approximately $1,088,720. Bushnell’s criminal conduct caused dozens of taxpayers to incur substantial costs, ranging between $200 and $400 per return, for interest and penalties.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. Meiners. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.
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