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Press Release

Tuscola Businessman Charged With Income Tax Evasion

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

Springfield, Ill. – A Tuscola, Ill., businessman is scheduled to appear for arraignment later this month on federal charges that he allegedly failed to pay more than $1.12 million in income tax for the 2008 and 2009 tax years. Last week, a grand jury returned the indictment charging Lorenzo Shane Stewart, owner of Ten Acres Excavating, Tuscola, with two counts of income tax evasion. Stewart’s arraignment has been scheduled on April 29, 2015, in Urbana.

According to court documents, in 2006, Stewart, 48, began conducting his excavation and construction business under the name Ten Acre Excavating. Stewart put the business under the name of one of his employees, although Stewart allegedly operated the business and received the income generated from the business. As a result, Stewart did not claim income generated by Ten Acre Excavating on his own tax returns.

In approximately July 2008, Stewart was awarded contracts to perform excavating and construction work on several natural gas pipeline substations that were being built in the Tuscola area in 2008 and 2009.  Stewart and his employees performed work on these substations and received checks related to this pipeline work totaling approximately $1.7 million in 2008 and $5.9 million in 2009. Stewart allegedly claimed his adjusted gross income for 2008 was approximately $74,199, when in fact, the indictment alleges his adjusted gross income for 2008 was approximately $279,803. For 2009, Stewart allegedly claimed his adjusted gross income was approximately $257,361, when in fact, his adjusted gross income was approximately $3,044,980.

If convicted, each count carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, a $100,000 fine plus the costs of prosecution, and restitution.

The charge is the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

Updated July 13, 2015