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Press Release

Jefferson City Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

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

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Jefferson City, Missouri, business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to tax evasion after failing to pay taxes on more than $600,000 in income over three years.

Ryan M. Phegley, 39, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Willie J. Epps Jr., to one count of tax evasion.

Phegley was the owner and operator of Phoenix Freight Lines, Inc., from 2010 to 2014. Phoenix provided truck transportation services, in which it leased trucks, hired drivers, and obtained contracts for transporting goods.

By pleading guilty today, Phegley admitted that he never filed state or federal individual income tax returns or state or federal business income tax returns for Phoenix for the years 2011-2013, despite earning a total of $642,344 in unreported taxable income during those years.

Phegley also admitted that, from January 2011 through April 15, 2012, he willfully attempted to evade income tax owed for the year 2011 by using the Phoenix bank account to pay his personal expenses, such as residential mortgage and utilities, personal vehicles, and remodeling his residence.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Phegley must pay $152,570 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and $31,604 to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

Under federal statutes, Phegley is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lawrence E. Miller. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

Updated July 7, 2020