Columbia tax preparer guilty of defrauding clients, not paying tax
COLUMBIA - A Columbia tax preparer pleaded guilty in court Thursday to defrauding his clients and failing to file his personal income taxes.
David Lee Keithley owned Keithley and Associates, a Columbia business offering tax preparation and payroll tax services. In his position, he was supposed to prepare tax returns and file tax deposits to the government for his clients. Instead, he would accept the finds from his clients and fail to file the tax deposits.
When clients contacted Keithley about receiving letters from the IRS about the state of their deposits, he told them he would call the IRS and correct it.
Keithley admitted in court that he used the funds - which totaled more than $120,000 - for personal benefits.
Keithley also said he failed to pay income taxes from 2009-2013. He owed the IRS nearly $150,000 and the state of Missouri over $22,000.
The Western District said Keithley could face up to four years in prison without parole.
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