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Branson father, son business owners admit tax evasion

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A Branson father and son, who operated vacation travel companies 2000-05, pleaded guilty to tax evasion, according to a news release from Beth Phillips, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Thomas Wood, 59, pleaded guilty to two counts of income tax evasion, and his son, Denver Wood, 35, pleaded guilty to three counts of income tax evasion. The charges were presented in an August 2009 federal indictment.

The two, along with co-defendant David Large, 52, owned and operated Branson-based Vacation Travel Outlet from 2000 to 2004 and Vacation Services of America from 2003 to 2005.

Thomas Wood admitted that he failed to file income tax returns for 2002 and 2003, while Denver Wood said he failed to file returns for 2002, 2003 and 2004.

By pleading guilty, the Woods agreed to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, as well as interest and penalties that may be owed.

Large pleaded guilty in January to failing to file income tax returns each year 2000-04, the release said.

In his plea agreement, Large admitted that he and the Woods evaded assessment of income taxes by receiving distribution of profits for Vacation Travel Outlet via withdrawals and checks drawn off of the company's bank account made payable to "cash." Then, either they or their spouses would deposit the checks into their individual bank accounts or cash them. They also received officer compensation from Vacation Service of America.

Large admitted in his plea that the trio attempted to conceal $1.8 million from the IRS.

According to the release, federal statutes dictate that Thomas and Denver Wood are each subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole on each count, plus a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

Large also could face the same sentence, according to a January news release.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall Eggert and was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation.[[In-content Ad]]


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