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joplin business owner sentenced to prison for tax violations, ordered to pay $6.2 million restitution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Joplin, Mo., business owner was sentenced in federal court today for failing to pay employee payroll taxes to the government.

Robert W. Landis, 45, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to three years and one month in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Landis to pay $6,264,228 in restitution to the IRS.

Landis pleaded guilty on Aug. 24, 2011, to failing to collect, or truthfully account for, or pay to the IRS federal employment taxes and federal income tax on employee wages.

Landis was the owner of Priority Personnel of Missouri and Priority Personnel of Kansas, temporary employment agencies, from December 2003 until June 2007. Landis was also the owner of Loma Landis LLC, which managed residential structures known as villas and operated nearby golf courses. Landis operated Loma Landis from 2005 to 2009, when a lender foreclosed the villas.

Each of those firms deducted payroll taxes (including federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes) from employees= pay. Landis admitted, however, that he failed to truthfully account for or pay to the IRS payroll taxes that were deducted and withheld from the paychecks of Priority Personnel of Missouri employees.

The restitution order was for the tax loss of approximately $4,893,364, plus interest that accrued on the unpaid payroll taxes. The total amount of the loss includes relevant conduct arising from Landis=s failure to collect, or truthfully account for, or pay payroll taxes for Priority Personnel of Kansas and Loma Landis.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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