FELONY FRAUD CHARGES LEVELED AGAINST BUSINESS OWNER

The Minnesota Department of Revenue announced that felony charges have been filed against Jeffrey McKenzie of Hastings. Investigators have charged Hastins with three felony counts of knowingly aiding in the preparation of tax returns that were fraudulent or false. McKenzie co-owns 61 Marine & Sports, Inc. in Cottage Grove. 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 McKenzie knowingly underreported the monthly taxable sales for the business to the accountant who then filed the false sales tax returns for the business. Through his actions, Mr. McKenzie allegedly defrauded the state of about $3.2 million in tax, penalty, and interest. Each of the three felony charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both.