Mo. Optometrist Filed $40 Million Refund Claim
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.