Tax Evasion / Food Stamp Fraud

Brothers accused of tax evasion; wives also face federal fraud charges
BY BRIAN BRUEGGEMANN
Belleville News-Democrat

Two Maryville brothers and their wives are facing federal charges of tax evasion.

The defendants are Robert Todd McKinney and his wife, Belinda McKinney, and John Quinn McKinney and his wife, Chamethele McKinney.

According to the indictment, the brothers tried to avoid paying taxes on income from their business, McKinney Hauling of East St. Louis.

Steve Wigginton, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, announced the charges Monday.

The Internal Revenue Service filed tax liens against the brothers in 2003. The defendants subsequently engaged in fraud to avoid paying taxes, according to the indictment.

The indictment alleges:

* That Robert and John McKinney lied about their ability to pay taxes and concealed assets.

* That Chamethele and Belinda McKinney set up nominee bank accounts that received income from the business, and provided false information on mortgage documents. The mortgages were for a home at 4941 Autumn Oaks Drive in Maryville for Robert and Belinda McKinney, and a home at 22 Seasons Ridge in Maryville for John and Chamethele McKinney.

* That Robert and John McKinney lied to federal agents by saying they resided in East St. Louis.

* That Robert and John McKinney claimed the company had no work or income when they were interviewed by federal agents. But on the same day, they made a deposit of $7,500, and around the same time, they made another deposit of $240,377.

* That the defendants have evaded paying taxes since 1999, and now owe at least $952,000 in income taxes.

* That Chamethele McKinney lied on government applications in 2006 in order to get food stamps.

Each defendant is charged with conspiracy, and related charges. The charge of conspiracy carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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