Mo. Optometrist Filed $40 Million Refund Claim

5 years 10 months 1 week ago Thursday, February 09 2012 Feb 9, 2012 Thursday, February 09, 2012 12:24:00 PM CST February 09, 2012 in News
By: Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP) - A southwest Missouri optometrist who filed a tax return claiming a $40 million refund has been sentenced to four years and three months in federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney's office says in a news release that 61-year-old Dr. Leslie Robert MacLaren of Nixa was sentenced Thursday for evading income taxes, bankruptcy fraud, impeding the work of the IRS and filing a false tax return. He was also ordered to pay $334,003 in restitution.

Prosecutors say MacLaren used several methods to avoid paying taxes, including hiding assets, not filing tax returns from 2003 through 2006 and under-reporting his income. He also filed a fraudulent bankruptcy petition.

After being audited, MacLaren sued IRS agents in federal court and later filed a tax return claiming a $40 million refund.

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