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Former Branson West business owner sentenced for tax fraud

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A former Branson West business owner was sentenced in federal court Aug. 1 for filing a false income tax return that misrepresented earnings during a five-year period.

Randall Pennington, 51, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison without parole and ordered to pay $525,125 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from Beth Phillips, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Pennington, who owned the now defunct Total Balance Orthotics, admitted in a Feb 16 guilty plea to earning more than $4 million from 2000-04, for which he owed nearly $318,000 in income and self-employment taxes. In the plea, he admitted that he only paid $1,000 in taxes in 2002.

Pennington filed the false 2002 income tax return in 2006, but under the terms of the plea agreement, the court considered total tax harm for the five-year period in its sentencing, according to the release.

During 2002, Pennington had gross income of $962,274 from his business and from gambling, resulting in $26,388 in owed taxes. During the year, he used seven bank accounts, but only informed his tax preparer of two of them. He also used another person's account for $50,000 in business receipts. Pennington also admitted to using a transposed version of his actual Social Security number when providing identification to casinos, resulting in $23,200 in gambling winnings that went unreported on the tax return, the release said.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mohlhenrich and was investigated by IRS Criminal Investigation and IRS Special Enforcement Program.[[In-content Ad]]

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