A Federal Grand Jury has indicted a Lexington man on charges of tax fraud.  According to the U-S Attorney’s Office, Christopher Huffman, 48, allegedly under-reported receipts from his tree-trimming and asphalt business in order to reduce his income liability.  Huffman is accused of claiming an income as less than $20,000 per year, yet owning a house valued at  $1.6 million with a 13-car garage, an in-ground pool, and a volleyball court.  It is believed that Huffman could have actually had a yearly income of more than $100,000.  The case is under investigation by the IRS.

Press Release from the Office of the United States Attorney, Western District of Missouri

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lexington, Mo., business owner was indicted by a federal grand jury today for filing false income tax returns.

Christopher Huffman, 48, of Lexington, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Huffman is the owner of IG Construction, an asphalt and tree-trimming business formerly known as Interstate General Contractors.

Today’s indictment alleges that Huffman engaged in a scheme to falsely under-report the gross receipts for his business on his federal tax returns in order to significantly reduce his income tax liability for tax years 2006-2008. Huffman allegedly claimed business expenses almost equal to his gross receipts, so that his reported income was low enough to claim the earned income tax credit. The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit intended for workers earning a low to moderate income, which results in a tax refund for those whose credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed.

Although Huffman claimed he earned less than $20,000 per year, the indictment says, he owned a 4,000-square-foot house valued at $1.6 million, which had a 13-car garage, an in-ground pool/lake and a volleyball court. Huffman also bought a Cadillac Escalade, two classic Chevrolet Camaros and two Harley Davidson motorcycles during this time, the indictment says.

According to the indictment, Huffman claimed in a 2008 loan application that he received a salary of $100,000 and that his net worth was almost $3 million. Huffman allegedly claimed in a 2007 loan application that he received a salary of $65,000 and listed his net worth at $2.4 million.

As a result of his scheme to defraud the federal government, the indictment says, Huffman caused a tax loss of $484,505.

Ketchmark cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Mahoney. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation.