Bond and loan broker pleads guilty filing false tax return

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A Carson City man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday to filing a false income tax return.

Newton Clifford Bennett, 60, entered the plea to felony making and subscribing a false income tax return before Chief U.S. District Court Judge Howard McKibben after a grand jury indicted him April 10.

According to court records, from 1995 to 1997, Bennett owned and operated West Coast Bonding & Trust in Carson City. He sold performance and surety bonds throughout the United States and received commissions from the sales.

Bennett also received finder's fees from individuals for finding loans for them.

The performance bonds were not backed by any funds, and the State of Nevada, Division of Insurance, Department of Business and Industry, subsequently determined the performance bonds were fraudulent.

Bennett failed to report any of the income he earned from the commissions or finder's fees on his federal income tax returns for the years 1995 to 1997. A criminal investigation conducted by the IRS in Reno and an examination of Bennett's business and bank records, revealed he failed to report an estimated total of $225,000 on his income tax returns in those three years.

Sentencing is set for Jan. 23, 2003.

Bennett faces a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.


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