Independence, Mo., lawyer tied to utility projects that drew FBI scrutiny indicted for tax evasion

Independence, Mo., lawyer tied to utility projects that drew FBI scrutiny indicted for tax evasion

An attorney and former elected formal in Independence was indicted Tuesday by a federal grand jury on felonies connected to tax evasion.

John C. Carnes, 67, was billed with one particular count of tax evasion, just one rely of corruptly endeavoring to obstruct the IRS and 7 counts of failure to shell out taxes. He appeared in federal courtroom in Kansas Metropolis Wednesday and was launched on bond.

Carnes is a former member of the Jackson County Legislature and Independence Town Council who served two a long time in prison following remaining convicted in 1989 of financial institution fraud and bribing another council member. His legislation license was reinstated in 2006.

Far more not too long ago, Carnes was included in two Independence utility jobs that have confronted yrs of FBI scrutiny — the city’s final decision to order the previous Rockwood Golfing System to construct a photo voltaic farm and the contract to demolish the town-owned energy plant in Missouri Town.

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In accordance to the indictment, Carnes allegedly prevented spending taxes involving 2012 and 2018 and tried to disguise his tax liability by shifting dollars into legal professional believe in accounts, which are intended to be for resources that are in a lawyer’s possession in link with symbolizing a shopper. He allegedly owes practically $345,000 in again taxes

Federal prosecutors say Carnes deposited $232,000 into lawyer believe in accounts that arrived from expenses for solutions relevant to the sale of the Rockwood Golf Class and the demolition of the Missouri Metropolis Electricity Plant.

The attorney rely on accounts were being utilised, the indictment alleges, to avoid the IRS from accumulating cash Carnes owed on earnings taxes.

Carnes is also alleged to have withdrawn hard cash from lawyer trust accounts to fund his individual and organization expenditures, which includes at Kansas City-space casinos. He also gained funds from customers that he did not deposit into his financial institution accounts.

In an job interview Wednesday with the Kansas City Star, Carnes explained he’s often represented his consumers “inside of ethical boundaries.” 

Utility contracts

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

1 contract known as for the city to shell out a St. Louis firm $9.75 million to tear down a electrical power plant that Independence Power and Mild was no extended applying in Missouri City.

The bid was more than two times that of the other bidder, and the proprietor of the organization that won it had longstanding ties to the lobbyist for Independence Energy & Gentle, previous Missouri Residence Speaker Steve Tilley. 

The other deal referred to as for the town to pay out approximately $1 million to obtain the previous Rockwood Golfing Club in order to establish a photo voltaic farm in a joint enterprise with Gardner Cash, a Springfield private equity business.

Gardner Capital is also a Tilley client, and just times in advance of the vote to order the home political action committees related to Tilley and funded Gardner produced four $2,500 donations to Independence Mayor Eileen Weir

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

Tilley would afterwards serve as the lobbyist for Titan Fish, a genuine estate company that sold the golfing training course to the metropolis for shut to two times what it experienced compensated for it just months right before. The FBI interviewed Titan Fish’s proprietor in the summer months of 2021 about the utility contracts and health care marijuana licensing. 

In accordance to the Missouri Ethics Commission, as of Sept. 1 Tilley’s lobbying business is no for a longer period registered to lobby on behalf of Independence Energy & Gentle.

Weir briefly ran for reelection before this yr but dropped out of the race after she barely innovative to the typical election. She was replaced by former state Rep. Rory Rowland. 

Independence been given a pair of grand jury subpoenas in early 2020 looking for documents of nonpublic meetings of the Independence City Council receipts submitted by 4 associates of the Independence City Council for reimbursement.

Just one of the meetings in concern was with Carnes.

The head of Missouri’s healthcare cannabis method testified under oath in late 2020 that a grand jury subpoena his company received was possible linked to an FBI investigation in Independence. 

There have been no indictments about either deal.

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