Local News

A Taylorville, Ill., man, Jeffrey L. Deal, has entered pleas of guilty to filing false income tax returns. According to court documents and information presented in federal court on Aug. 30, 2011, Deal, 43, formerly ran the daily operations of Luster-Deal, Inc., a local corporation which owned, worked, and leased farm properties in central Illinois.

During his court appearance yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Byron G. Cudmore,

Deal waived indictment and pled guilty to an information charging him with two counts of filing false income tax returns. Deal admitted that as a result of his misapplication of corporation funds, he received a significant amount of additional income which he did not report on his income tax returns. According to court documents, Deal submitted false tax returns for the year 2004, which understated his income by $170,254.69; for the year 2005, understating his income by $233,863.05; and, for the year 2006, which understated his income by $99,570.57.

Deal admitted that he misapplied corporation money to his personal use by maintaining a corporate bank account which he represented to others was closed, and then using the money deposited for personal expenses; by writing corporate checks for personal expenses, and then misrepresenting the expenses on the corporate books as a business expense; by mis-using a company credit card for personal expenses and listing them as corporate expenses; and, by misdirecting corporate deposits into his personal bank account. Deal is currently on bond awaiting sentencing, which is set for Jan. 12, 2012, before Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Mills. Each count of filing a false income tax return carries a maximum statutory penalty of up to three years in prison, as well as fines for each charge of up to $100,000 and a term of supervised release to follow any jail time.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, upon referral following a civil audit of the corporation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Hansen.

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