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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


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

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


DECEMBER 14, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


INDEPENDENCE MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO $688,000

IN FALSE CLAIMS ON TAX RETURNS


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to making false statements in an income tax return.


            Byron K. Meeks, 31, of Independence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright to the charge contained in a July 20, 2010, federal indictment.


            By pleading guilty today, Meeks admitted that he submitted at least 15 false and fraudulent income tax returns, falsely claiming total refunds of $688,007 which resulted in an actual tax loss of approximately $439,926, for tax years 2007 and 2008. Meeks prepared federal income tax returns for himself, friends, and family containing materially false and fraudulent claims of: federal withholding from Forms W-2 and Forms 1099; Schedule C business profit and loss; and first-time home buyer tax credit. The false claims were designed to cause refunds to be issued to the filer to which the filer was not entitled. Meeks directed that the refunds be directly deposited into bank accounts controlled by him. In some instances, Meeks gave a portion of the refund to the person under whose name he filed the return; in other instances, Meeks kept the entire refund.


            Under federal statutes, Meeks 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. 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 Kate Mahoney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.


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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

http://www.justice.gov/usao/mow/index.html