three branson business owners sentenced for tax evasion
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that three Branson, Mo., business owners were sentenced in federal court today for tax evasion.
Denver A. Wood, 35, his father, Thomas A. Wood, 59, and David D. Large, 52, all of Branson, were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith. Denver Wood was sentenced to two years in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $181,103 in restitution (less any amounts already paid). Thomas Wood was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison without parole, and ordered to pay $11,581 in restitution (less any amounts already paid). Large was sentenced to one year in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $198,517 in restitution (less any amounts already paid).
On Nov. 29, 2010, Thomas Wood pleaded guilty to two counts of income tax evasion and Denver Wood pleaded guilty to three counts of income tax evasion. Large pleaded guilty on Jan. 13, 2010, to participating in a conspiracy to commit tax evasion.
Thomas and Denver Wood and Large owned and operated a travel club business originally named 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.
Thomas and Denver Wood admitted that they received income from their employment at those businesses. Thomas Wood admitted that he failed to file an income tax return for 2002 and 2003. Denver Wood admitted that he failed to file an income tax return for 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Large admitted that he and his co-defendants attempted to conceal $1,803,728 in income from the Internal Revenue Service. To evade assessment of income taxes, Large admitted that he and his co-defendants received their distribution of profits from their ownership interests in Vacation Travel Outlet in the form of withdrawals and checks drawn off of the Vacation Travel Outlet bank account and made payable to “cash.” They or their spouses deposited the checks into their individual bank accounts or cashed them at the banks. They also received officer compensation from Vacation Service of America.
According to his plea agreement, Large failed to file income tax returns with the IRS for tax years 2000 through 2004. Large also admitted that he and his co-defendants conducted financial transactions that were structured to evade federal reporting requirements.
Under the terms of their plea agreements, Thomas and Denver Wood and Large each agreed to pay restitution to the IRS, which represents the federal income taxes they failed to pay for tax years 2000 through 2004, as well as any interest and penalties that may be owed to the IRS.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and IRS Special Enforcement Program.