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
AUGUST 11, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THREE BRANSON FAMILY MEMBERS INDICTED
FOR TAX EVASION
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that three members of a Branson, Mo., family who owned a business together have been indicted for tax evasion and for structuring financial transactions in order to avoid detection by the government.
Thomas A. Wood, 57, his son, Denver A. Wood, 33, and his brother-in-law, David D. Large, 50, all of Branson, were charged in a 15-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2009. That indictment has been unsealed and made public upon the arrests and initial court appearances of the co-defendants.
Thomas Wood, Denver Wood and Large owned and operated Vacation Travel LLC, doing business as Vacation Travel Outlet, from 2000 through 2004. Vacation Travel Outlet marketed travel club memberships that claimed to offer discounted travel prices, including savings on airfare, cruises, hotels, golfing, rental cars and condominiums. They also owned and operated Vacation Services of America from 2003 to 2005. The indictment alleges that Vacation Services of America (which operated in the same office space, employed the same people and sold the same travel membership product as Vacation Travel Outlet) was formed as a non-profit corporation in order to avoid paying taxes.
The federal indictment alleges that, from Jan. 1, 2000, to Feb. 13, 2006, Thomas Wood, Denver Wood and Large conspired together to obtain approximately $1.8 million in revenue from these businesses without paying any taxes. According to the indictment, the defendants did not file income tax returns from 2000 through 2003. Thomas Wood filed an income tax return in 2004, but Denver Wood and Large did not file an income tax return for 2004.
In addition to the conspiracy, Thomas Wood is charged with two counts of tax evasion. In 2002 and 2003, the indictment says, he received a total of $257,617 in taxable income, on which he owed $91,154 in taxes. Denver Wood is also charged with three counts of tax evasion. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the indictment says, he received a total of $344,816 in taxable income, on which he owed $120,298 in taxes. Large is also charged with three counts of tax evasion. In 2002, 2003 and 2004, the indictment says, he received a total of $356,709 in taxable income, on which he owed $128,456 in taxes.
The federal indictment also charges Thomas Wood, Denver Wood and Large with conspiracy to structure financial transactions. The indictment alleges that, from Dec. 10, 2003, through Sept. 3, 2004, the co-defendants conspired to structure bank withdrawals in a manner as to avoid federal reporting requirements. Those transactions were allegedly conducted so that they would not trigger the requirements for the bank to file a Currency Transaction Report by withdrawing amounts less than $10,000.
In addition to the conspiracy, the indictment charges Thomas Wood with three counts of structuring financial transactions as part of a pattern of illegal activity. The indictment also charges Large with two counts of structuring financial transactions as part of a pattern of illegal activity.
Whitworth cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. 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