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Press Release

Used car salesman admits hiding commissions from IRS

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A used car salesman in Imperial, Missouri pleaded guilty Monday to three tax charges and admitted hiding more than $300,000 in sales commissions from the IRS.

Donald Benck was primarily compensated for his sales job at a used car lot through commissions. Benck admitted that starting in 2014, he recruited acquaintances to receive the commissions by check, cash the checks and give the cash to Benck. The acquaintances kept a small fee for themselves. In total, the acquaintances cashed $326,000 in checks from 2014-2016.

Benck’s employer issued 1099 forms to the acquaintances instead of Benck, who did not inform his tax return preparer of the commissions and did not report the income on his tax returns. As a result, the 1040 forms that Benck filed with the IRS for 2014 through 2016 underreported his income.  Benck failed to report $31,300 in income for tax year 2014, $131,400 for 2015 and $93,035 for 2016, causing a tax loss to the IRS of $84,092. 

“Our tax system depends on everyone paying their fair share of taxes based on the filing of accurate tax returns, said Special Agent in Charge Tyler Hatcher, IRS Criminal Investigation’s St. Louis Field Office.  “Dishonest tax filers leave honest tax payers to pick up the tab for their schemes.” 

Benck on Monday pleaded guilty to three counts of making a false statement on an income tax return in front of U.S. District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 18.

The Internal Revenue Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gwendolyn Carroll is prosecuting the case.

Updated August 8, 2022