News and Press Releases

branson woman pleads guilty to false tax return
after embezzling from branson theater

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Branson, Mo., woman has pleaded guilty in federal court to filing a false tax return after embezzling more than $678,000 from the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in Branson.

Dawn K. Cleveringa, 59, of Branson, waived her right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Tuesday, Aug. 26, 2014, to a federal information that charges her with making a false federal income tax return.

Cleveringa was the controller of the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre from 1992 to 2009. Cleveringa’s duties as controller included conducting or supervising financial transactions of the Andy Williams Theatre, including employee payroll and issuing IRS Forms W-2 to employees.

By pleading guilty, Cleveringa admitted that she made unauthorized payments to herself, and unauthorized payments of her personal expenses, from funds of the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre in 2007 and 2008. To disguise her theft, Cleveringa manipulated the accounting system of the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.

Cleveringa has been prosecuted in state court for embezzling more than $678,000 from the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. The federal charge is related only to the portion of the embezzled income for which Cleveringa did not pay federal income taxes.

Cleveringa admitted that she failed to include some of the embezzled income on her federal income tax return. In 2007, Cleveringa embezzled approximately $160,642 from the Andy Williams Theatre that was not claimed on her federal income tax return. In 2008, Cleveringa embezzled approximately $102,013 from the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre that was not claimed on her federal income tax return. The total amount embezzled during 2007 and 2008, which was not claimed on her federal income tax return, was approximately $262,656.

Under federal statutes, Cleveringa is subject to a sentence of up to three 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 Steven M. Mohlhenrich. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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