A Houston County man, one of more than a dozen defendants charged in a nearly $100 million tax fraud scheme in the state of Missouri, has been given probation for his involvement. Officials call the case the largest such scheme ever prosecuted in the "Show Me" state.
South Alabama resident Mark J. Murray was given probation for his involvement in the false claims case in which he and 13 others across the country tried to get $96 million in fraudulent refunds from the Internal Revenue Service.
Murray was charged in September 2011 in three different counts of a 71-cout indictment. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison. The charges stem from Murray's tax refunds from false returns filed by Gerald Poynter, or "Brother Love" of Kansas City, MO totaling more than half a million dollars ($352K in 2005 and $229K in 2006).
The indictment accused the defendants of promoting the tax fraud scheme at hotel meetings and living room gatherings by telling prospective clients they could "recoup" any debt taken out in their names. Documents such as loan statements, car payments, bank statements and credit card statements were listed as on tax returns as investment earnings.
Though most of the claims (nearly 90 percent) were ultimately rejected, the rest netted the defendants $3.5 million.
Murray agreed to plead guilty to one count of the indictment, filing false claims, in August 2012. He could have been jailed for up to five years on that charge alone.
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