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Press Release

Springfield CPA Pleads Guilty to Stealing $400,000 from Trust Fund

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

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to embezzling more than $400,000 from a trust fund under his control.

Ray Leonard Marple, 61, waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to a federal information that charges him with one count of wire fraud and one count of making a false federal tax return.

Marple, a certified public accountant, has been operating his own accounting firm since 1999. By pleading guilty today, Marple admitted that he embezzled approximately $432,981 from a revocable trust account from July 7, 2017, through May 3, 2023, following the death of the grantor.

According to the plea agreement, Marple would have been entitled to trustee fees less than $2,500 annually, or $17,500 total for the seven years, significantly less than he withdrew from the trust account for personal purposes. Marple therefore stole at least $415,481 from the trust account. Marple admitted he used proceeds from the fraud scheme to purchase his residential property in Springfield.

Marple also admitted that he under-reported his income on federal tax returns from 2018 to 2020. Marple earned nearly $177,000 in taxable income that was not reported over those three years, for which he owes $59,622 in federal income taxes.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, Marple must pay up to $415,481 in restitution to the trust and at least $59,622 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, as ordered by the court. Marple also must forfeit to the government a money judgment of $415,481 and his Springfield residential property.

Under federal statutes, Marple is subject to a sentence of up to 23 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 Patrick Carney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.

Updated April 29, 2024

Financial Fraud