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Springfield, MO

Ozark business owner pleads guilty to tax evasion

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An Ozark business owner on Tuesday pleaded guilty to evading at least $3.4 million in income and employment taxes, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri said.

Kyle Jon Thompson, 46, owns Branson Trailer Manufacturing, a welded steel trailer manufacturer. He waived his right to a grand jury and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Thompson's guilty plea is an admission that he received about $2.8 million in taxable income in 2006 and did not file an income tax return or pay about $902,000 in personal income tax, according to the release. He also failed to file federal income tax returns for his company or himself between 1997 and 2006, and income and employment taxes during that time are estimated between $2.5 million and $7 million.

From 2003-2006, Branson Trailer produced about 9,500 trailers and had estimated gross receipts of $21.85 million, according to the release.

Thompson attempted to hide his income by paying his employees in cash and not withholding required taxes, issuing IRS forms or paying any withholdings to the government. He also structured cash bank deposits to avoid currency transaction reporting requirements.

Thompson also purchased real estate and other property with cash, and he concealed his interest in vehicles by not registering them with the county assessor's office, according to the release. His vehicles included four limousines, three Corvettes, a Hummer, two Cadillac Escalades, a Lincoln Navigator, a Dodge Ram 2500 truck, a Ford F250 truck, a Jaguar, a Ford Mustang GT, a Ford Thunderbird and a Ford Model-T.

Thompson also admitted to buying a travel trailer in 2004 that he "knew or should have known had been stolen," the release said. He paid $10,000 and traded eight or nine manufactured trailers for the travel trailer, valued at $51,000.

Thompson is subject to up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine of up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. His sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes a pre-sentence investigation, the release said.

Under Tuesday's plea agreement, Thompson also must pay all taxes, interest and penalties prior to sentencing.[[In-content Ad]]

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