lexington business owner pleads gulty to filing false tax return
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Lexington, Mo., business owner has pleaded guilty in federal court to filing a false income tax return.
Christopher Huffman, 49, of Lexington, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, to the charge contained in an April 3, 2012 federal indictment.
Huffman is the owner of IG Construction, an asphalt and tree-trimming business formerly known as Interstate General Contractors. By pleading guilty today, Huffman admitted that he engaged in a scheme to falsely under-report the gross receipts for his business on his tax returns for tax years 2006-2008 in order to significantly reduce his income tax liability.
Huffman claimed business expenses almost equal to his gross receipts, so that his reported income was low enough to claim the earned income tax credit. The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit intended for workers earning a low to moderate income, which results in a tax refund for those whose credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed.
For tax years 2006 - 2008, while claiming he earned less than $20,000 per year, Huffman lived in and owned a house which he valued at $1.6 million and which had approximately 4,000 square feet, a 13-car garage, an in-ground pool/lake, and a volleyball court. Huffman bought a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, two classic Chevrolet Camaros, and two Harley Davidson motorcycles during this time.
In 2007, Huffman claimed in a loan application that he had $10,700 in cash and received a salary of $65,000, and listed his net worth at $2.4 million. In 2008, Huffman claimed in another loan application that he received a salary of $100,000 and that his net worth was almost $3 million.
Huffman admitted that, as a result of his fraud scheme, he caused a tax loss to the government of at least $300,000. However, the government intends to present evidence at Huffman's sentencing hearing that the tax loss actually exceeds $400,000.
Under federal statutes, Huffman is subject to a sentence of up to three years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $100,000 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.