- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A former businessman already convicted for failing to pay employment taxes now faces new federal charges of mail and wire fraud, money laundering and theft.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cedar Rapids said in a written release Thursday that 61-year-old Darrell Smith was indicted last month on the charges. That followed Smith’s 13-month prison sentence in December for payroll tax fraud.

Federal officials say the charges are related to Smith’s investment of clients’ money into a now-defunct ethanol plant in Hopkinton, Iowa. Officials say on several occasions, Smith transferred money from clients’ accounts - against their will and without their knowledge - into his bio-energy fund. Investigators say he used either pre-signed, blank authorization forms or forged his clients’ signatures.

Smith faces up to 72 years in prison if convicted.

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