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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Missouri

Thursday, January 8, 2015

St. Louis County Man Indicted On Tax Charges

St. Louis, MO – JOHN WEHRLE was indicted for tax evasion and filing false tax returns. 

According to the indictment, Wehrle transferred more than $700,000 to his personal bank account during 2008 and 2010 from an account he controlled with funds generated by venture capital investment management companies he lead.  When questioned about the transfers during an IRS audit, Wehrle is alleged to have created backdated loan documents to support his contention that the transfers were loans rather than income.

Wehrle’s business partner in the venture capital management businesses, Burton Douglas Morriss, pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2013 and is serving a five-year sentence for his offense.

"Honest taxpayers need to be reassured that everyone is paying their fair share," said Tanya Brewer, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation, St. Louis Field Office.

Wehrle, St. Louis County, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on two counts of tax evasion and two counts of filing a false tax return.

If convicted, Wehrle faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison on each of two tax evasion counts and up to three years in prison on each of two counts of filing a false tax return.  Each of the four counts carries a maximum fine of $100,000.  Restitution will also be sought for the defendant’s additional tax liability. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.  Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt.  Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.                 
Updated March 19, 2015