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Strafford business owner pleads guilty to false tax return

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Strafford, Mo., business owner pleaded guilty in federal court today to filing a false tax return.

Philip Russell Turner, 53, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of filing a false tax return. Turner is the co-owner and president of a business identified in court documents as “Company A.”

By pleading guilty today, Turner admitted that he filed a false tax return for the calendar year 2018. Turner only claimed $15,088 income, although he had received additional income that should have been reported.

According to today’s plea agreement, Turner used funds from Company A to pay for approximately $612,144 in renovations to his personal residence in Strafford and cabins in Colorado in 2017 and 2018. He falsely told his accountant that the expenses for the renovations were expenses incurred by Company A for, among other things, renovating Company A’s offices, so that his accountant would not include the renovations as personal income on Turner’s tax returns.

As a result of Turner’s misrepresentations, his personal income for calendar years 2017 and 2018 was unreported by approximately $612,144. As a result, according to his plea agreement, Turner has an outstanding income tax liability of $97,765 for calendar year 2017 and $61,201 for calendar year 2018.

In addition, the plea agreement says, Turner owes $351,620 in unpaid taxes from calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Turner must pay the Internal Revenue Service $510,586 in restitution plus interest.

Under federal statutes, Turner is subject to a sentence of up to three 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 Shannon Kempf. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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