The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

February 14, 2014

Crawford County man pleads guilty in federal tax-fraud case

ARMA, Kan. — A Crawford County (Kan.) man pleaded guilty Friday to receiving millions of dollars in tax refunds by filing false federal tax returns.

Jerold D. Fisher, 49, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Topeka to one count of filing a false federal tax return and will be sentenced May 27.

The defendant’s plea agreement with the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas includes a recommendation that he serve 36 months in a federal prison. Fisher also has agreed to a restitution order of $4 million, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office.

At his plea hearing, Fisher admitted filing false federal tax returns for both himself and his mother from 2006 through 2009 while serving as a registered agent for Fisher Alfalfa Farms.

The first year he began his fraud by falsely claiming that Fisher Alfalfa Farms withheld taxes from his wages and paid them to the federal government, resulting in a fraudulent refund of $17,175, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

As Fisher continued the deceit in subsequent years, he increased the amount of the fraud and the size of his refunds, reaching a claim of more than $3.8 million in withholding on income in excess of $8 million in 2009, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

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