- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal prosecutors say a northwest Iowa ethanol plant owner has pleaded guilty to failing to pay employment taxes and dumping ethanol into a stream.

Randy Less, of Hopkinton, was charged in January with failing to collect and pay to the government federal income, Social Security and Medicare taxes withheld from the wages of employees of Permeate Refining.

At his guilty plea hearing on Tuesday, Less admitted he failed to properly handle payroll taxes. He also admitted that in July 2013 he discharged ethanol into an unnamed tributary of the Maquoketa River violating the Clean Water Act.

A sentencing date hasn’t been set. He faces up to five years in prison for the tax charge and up to three years for the ethanol discharge and fines of up to $500,000.

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