Gavel

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Paola man has been sentenced in federal court for filing a false tax return.

Steven J. Strauss, 54, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays on Wednesday, Oct. 23, to two years and four months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Strauss to pay $684,792 in restitution to the government, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Garrison.

Strauss, who owns and operates Classic Tree Care, pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 to filing a false tax return. Strauss admitted that he did not provide accurate information to his tax preparer. Strauss vastly understated the gross receipts for his business, which caused corresponding understatements of taxable income and tax liability, according to the release.

From 2012 through 2015, Strauss deposited about $1,467,682 in business income into his bank account, over and above what was reported on his tax returns. Strauss admitted that, as a result of his fraudulent conduct in understating his tax liabilities, he owed $684,792 to the IRS, according to the release.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas M. Larson. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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