May 17, 2024

Independence lawyer tied to utility projects that drew FBI scrutiny indicted for tax evasion | KCUR 89.3

Independence lawyer tied to utility projects that drew FBI scrutiny indicted for tax evasion | KCUR 89.3

An legal professional and previous elected official in Independence was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on felonies associated to tax evasion.

John C. Carnes, 67, was charged with one count of tax evasion, one depend of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS and 7 counts of failure to fork out taxes. He appeared in the Western District of Missouri Kansas Metropolis Wednesday and was introduced on bond.

Carnes is a previous member of the Jackson County Legislature and Independence Metropolis Council who served two a long time in prison right after remaining convicted in 1989 of bank fraud and bribing another council member. His law license was reinstated in 2006.

More lately, Carnes was associated in two Independence utility assignments that have faced years of FBI scrutiny — the city’s decision to obtain the former Rockwood Golfing Training course to build a photo voltaic farm and the contract to demolish the town-owned electrical power plant in Missouri City.

In accordance to the indictment, Carnes allegedly prevented shelling out taxes amongst 2012 and 2018 and attempted to conceal his tax liability by shifting dollars into legal professional belief accounts, which are intended to be for funds that are in a lawyer’s possession in connection with symbolizing a shopper. He allegedly owes just about $345,000 in again taxes

Federal prosecutors say Carnes deposited $232,000 into attorney have confidence in accounts that arrived from charges for companies linked to the sale of the Rockwood Golf System and the demolition of the Missouri Town Electricity Plant.

The legal professional have faith in accounts have been utilised, the indictment alleges, to reduce the IRS from gathering income Carnes owed on revenue taxes.

Carnes is also alleged to have withdrawn cash from legal professional trust accounts to fund his private and business expenditures, which includes at Kansas Town-spot casinos. He also received funds from clientele that he did not deposit into his lender accounts.

In an interview Wednesday with the Kansas City Star, Carnes mentioned he’s normally represented his clientele “inside ethical boundaries.”

Utility contracts

In 2019, the FBI began questioning community officials in Independence about a pair of utility contracts issued by the town council in 2017.

A single deal called for the metropolis to pay a St. Louis corporation $9.75 million to tear down a energy plant that Independence Electric power and Gentle was no for a longer period working with in Missouri Metropolis.

The bid was additional than 2 times that of the other bidder, and the operator of the organization that received it experienced longstanding ties to the lobbyist for Independence Electricity & Mild, former Missouri Home Speaker Steve Tilley.

The other agreement called for the metropolis to shell out nearly $1 million to purchase the former Rockwood Golf Club in order to build a solar farm in a joint venture with Gardner Funds, a Springfield private fairness agency.

Gardner Funds is also a Tilley customer, and just days right before the vote to obtain the residence political action committees linked to Tilley and funded Gardner made 4 $2,500 donations to Independence Mayor Eileen Weir.

She vehemently denied the donations were connected to her vote to endorse the job.

Tilley would afterwards provide as the lobbyist for Titan Fish, a genuine estate firm that sold the golfing class to the metropolis for close to two times what it experienced compensated for it just months right before. The FBI interviewed Titan Fish’s owner in the summer time of 2021 about the utility contracts and clinical marijuana licensing.

In accordance to the Missouri Ethics Fee, as of Sept. 1 Tilley’s lobbying organization is no longer registered to foyer on behalf of Independence Electricity & Mild.

Weir briefly ran for re-election earlier this 12 months but dropped out of the race right after she hardly highly developed to the general election. She was replaced by previous state Rep. Rory Rowland.

Independence been given a pair of grand jury subpoenas in early 2020 searching for information of non-general public meetings of the Independence City Council receipts submitted by four associates of the Independence City Council for reimbursement.

A person of the conferences in concern was with Carnes.

The head of Missouri’s professional medical marijuana method testified underneath oath in late 2020 that a grand jury subpoena his agency been given was most likely connected to an FBI investigation in Independence.

There have been no indictments pertaining to both deal.