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Press Release

Pekin Man Sentenced to 21 Months in Prison for Filing a False Tax Return

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

PEORIA, Ill. – A Pekin, Illinois, man, Kenin L. Edwards, 59, was sentenced on July 1, 2024, to 21 months in federal prison for making and subscribing a false tax return. Edwards will also serve one year of supervised release and is required to pay restitution, in addition to a $10,000.00 fine.

At the sentencing hearing before U.S. District Judge James E. Shadid, the government presented evidence that Edwards was employed in the logging business as a timber buyer. His employment included contract work between landowners and sawmills, and he was paid a commission for the deals that he closed. In late 2017, Edwards formed a partnership with his son, which he named Edwards & Sons Log Purveyors. For the tax years 2014 through 2018, Edwards underreported income totaling $2,100,365.00 to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), resulting in a total federal tax loss of $180,626.00. In addition, he underreported income totaling $673,359.00 to the Illinois Department of Revenue (“IDR”), resulting in a total state tax loss of $22,004.00.  Edwards has a remaining tax loss due to the IRS of $6,346.00 and has paid the tax loss to the IDR. Interest and penalties due to both the IRS and IDR have not yet been paid.

A federal grand jury returned a 14-count indictment against Edwards in March 2021. Counts One through Four involved mail fraud and Counts Five through Seven were wire fraud charges. Counts Eight through Fourteen related to the filing of false tax returns.

Edwards pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false tax return in November 2023, pursuant to a written agreement. The court dismissed the remaining charges at sentencing upon the government’s motion. A ruling on the restitution amount due will be made at a later date.

The statutory penalties for filing a false tax return are up to three years imprisonment; up to one year of supervised release; and a fine of up to $100,000.00.

The case investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Illinois Department of Revenue. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Timothy C. Bass, Douglas F. McMeyer, and Sarah E. Seberger represented the government in the prosecution.

Updated July 3, 2024