Hastings man charged with multiple tax crimes
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that the Washington County Attorney’s Office recently charged Jeffrey S. McKenzie, of Hastings, with three felony counts of knowingly aiding in the preparation of tax returns that were fraudulent or false.
Mr. McKenzie co-owns 61 Marine & Sports, Inc. in Cottage Grove, MN. According to the complaint, Mr. McKenzie was in charge of providing the monthly sales tax collection information to the business accountant who filed the sales tax returns on their behalf. The complaint alleges that Mr. McKenzie knowingly underreported the monthly taxable sales for the business to the accountant who then filed the false sales tax returns for the business. The complaint also states that the seized ledgers and financial documentation showing sales information for the business did not match the company’s monthly sales tax filing for multiple periods from January 2013 through September 2018. Through his actions, Mr. McKenzie allegedly defrauded the state of approximately $3.2 million in tax, penalty, and interest, according to documents found during the investigation.
Each tax-related felony charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both. Defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Many of the department’s criminal case referrals come from public tips. The Minnesota Department of Revenue has a 24-hour tip line for anyone who suspects that a person or business is violating Minnesota tax laws. Local callers may dial 651-297-5195 or call toll-free by dialing 1-800-657-3500. Tips can also be submitted to the department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tipsters may choose to remain anonymous.