lexington business owner sentenced for 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 been sentenced in federal court for filing a false income tax return after claiming earned income tax credits despite his extravagant lifestyle.
Christopher Huffman, 49, of Lexington, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, to two years and three months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Huffman to pay $484,505 in restitution.
Huffman is the owner of IG Construction, an asphalt and tree-trimming business formerly known as Interstate General Contractors. Huffman, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 4, 2013, 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 4,000-square-foot house which he valued at $1.6 million and which had a 13-car garage, an in-ground pool/lake, a basketball court and a volleyball court. Huffman bought a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, two classic Chevrolet Camaros and two Harley Davidson motorcycles during this time.
Huffman under-reported his gross receipts for the three tax years in question, 2006 through 2008, by a total of $1,340,379. The tax loss to the United States is $484,505.
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.This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Mahoney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.