Springfield, MO

Springfield accountant who embezzled $3M dies

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A Springfield accountant who pleaded guilty this summer to embezzling more than $3 million from a local nonprofit and a private business died.

David Hayes, 59, was found dead Nov. 20 of an apparent suicide at his family farm east of Springfield, KY3 reports. Greene County Sheriff’s Office Cpl. James Craigmyle confirmed Hayes’ death, but declined to provide more details on the open investigation.

“The medical examiner is going to be the one to rule,” he said. “We can’t make that determination right now.”

In June, Hayes admitted to charges of theft from an organization receiving federal funds, wire fraud and making a false federal tax return. He pleaded guilty to failing to pay $2 million in taxes over a six-year period.

The accountant was a partner at Hayes, Ramlow and Bush PC — which later reorganized as Bush, Ramlow & Shore PC — before forming The Hayes Group LLC in 2006. Between 2011 and 2016, Hayes embezzled $1.97 million from Springfield nonprofit Alternative Opportunities Inc. and $1.03 million from local fencing company Carnahan-White LLC, according to Springfield Business Journal reporting.

To embezzle funds from Alternative Opportunities, Hayes illegally caused the nonprofit to issue checks to himself or another person who was not identified in court documents. He also was chief financial analyst and chief financial officer for Miami Nation Enterprises, an economic development corporation of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma that owns a majority stake in Carnahan-White. In that capacity, Hayes obtained checks from the company without the knowledge of Miami Nation and transferred hidden funds to himself.

Hayes also admitted he failed to file tax returns 2011-15.

Under federal statutes, Hayes could have been sentenced to 33 years in federal prison without parole.

In the latest court proceedings, on Sept. 15, Hayes’ attorneys at the Law Offices of Dee Wampler & Joseph Passanise PC successfully argued for more time to file objections to the presentence report.


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