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Belle Vernon used-car dealer, Greensburg accomplice sentenced for tax fraud

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A Belle Vernon man and Greensburg woman were convicted Friday for hiding income from used-car dealerships from the Internal Revenue Service

A Belle Vernon man and a Greensburg woman who operated a string of used car dealerships in Greensburg, Latrobe and McKeesport were sentenced Friday by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh for under-reporting revenues by more than $2.7 million over four years.

Robert Richards, of Belle Vernon, was sentenced to four years’ probation after his conviction on one count of filing a false income tax return.

Jennifer Morrison, of Greensburg, was sentenced to two years’ probation on a conviction of conspiracy to defraud.

According to court documents, between January 2006 and April 2010, Richards hid his income from the Internal Revenue Service by placing his dealerships and more than 30 business-related bank accounts in the names of nominee owners, who have technical legal ownership but are not true beneficiaries.

One of those nominee owners was Morrison, prosecutors said, who worked with Richards to funnel more than $1 million in gross business receipts through nominee accounts.

In 2001, Richards and Morrison were charged by state police for failing to turn in titles, fees and registration paperwork for more than 85 vehicles sold at a used car lot in McKeesport.

As part of this latest conviction, they have been ordered to jointly pay nearly $142,000 in restitution.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, [email protected] or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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