Metro tree company owner sentenced to prison for false tax return, owing over $600K to IRS

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A metro business owner will spend more than two years in prison for filing a false tax return.

Steven Strauss, of Paola, was sentenced on Wednesday to two years and four months in federal prison without parole. A judge also ordered him to pay more than $680,000 in restitution to the government.

The 54-year-old owns Classic Tree Care, which has done business throughout the Kansas City metro for several years.

Strauss pleaded guilty in January to his charges and admitted he under-reported his gross receipts for his business.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri, from 2012 to 2015, Strauss deposited more than $1.4 million in business income into his bank account, more than what he reported to the IRS.

That discrepancy resulted in him owing $684,792 to the agency, which he’ll now pay back in restitution.

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