OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
FEBRUARY 5, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SPRINGFIELD MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK FRAUD,
TAX FRAUD SCHEMES
CONSPIRATORS PASSED MORE THAN $100,000
IN COUNTERFEIT CHECKS
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today in two separate cases that charge him in a bank fraud conspiracy and a tax fraud scheme. The bank fraud conspiracy involved false identification documents that were used to negotiate more than $100,000 in counterfeit checks. The tax fraud scheme involved fraudulent tax returns that were filed in order to receive tax refunds to which he and others were not entitled.
Max R. Snodgrass, 32, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr this morning to the conspiracy charge contained in a Sept. 9, 2009, federal indictment. Snodgrass also waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty to a federal information filed today that charges him with tax fraud.
Snodgrass admitted that, from April 13 to Nov. 29, 2008, he participated in a conspiracy in Greene County, Mo., to steal checking account information and personal identity information from various victims. That information was used to produce counterfeit identification documents (such as driver’s licenses) and counterfeit personal, business and organizational checks that were cashed or used to make purchases. Some of the counterfeit checks bore fictitious account information, while others were drawn on actual accounts, including one belonging to the Greene County Sheriff’s Office.
Snodgrass used the counterfeit identification documents and checks on multiple occasions to fraudulently obtain property and money. Conspirators obtained (or sought to obtain) $108,599 during the course of the conspiracy.
Snodgrass also admitted that, in a separate scheme, he assisted others to obtain fraudulent tax refunds from the Internal Revenue Service by filing false 2007 federal income tax returns.
Snodgrass used his computer to create false W-2 forms for a sham business, claiming earnings and withholdings for employees who never actually worked for the business. Snodgrass and others involved in the conspiracy took the false W-2 forms to tax preparers and electronically filed federal income tax returns in order to receive large refunds resulting from the falsely reported withholdings.
The total amount of the loss, actual and attempted, for the conspiracy was $15,417. The actual amount of fraudulent tax refunds paid as a result of the conspiracy was $10,572.
Under federal statutes, Snodgrass is subject to a sentence of up to 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1,250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven M. Mohlhenrich. They were investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Greene County, Mo. Sheriff’s Office.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at