A Kentucky accountant has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to taking clients’ money to buy sports cards .
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Karl S. Forester sentenced David Byron, 46, for wire fraud and trying to avoid paying income taxes. Byron will spend three years and four months in federal prison and was also ordered to pay $688,530.89 in restitution to the victims.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Lexington charged Byron with devising a scheme to defraud at least seven clients of his bookkeeping business starting in 2006 and continuing through 2010. He pleaded guilty earlier this year.
Byron admitted to telling clients he was making payments to the Internal Revenue Service, but instead wired money from their bank accounts to his own account. He then used the money to purchase $350,000 worth of baseball and other sports cards and supplement his lifestyle. The U.S. Attorney’s Office didn’t say exactly what types of cards Byron purchased with the money.
As he took his victims’ money, prosecutors say Byron knew and intended that their local, state, and federal tax liabilities would go unpaid. In each instance, he willfully attempted to evade and defeat the victim-clients’ payment of substantial tax due and owing, especially to the Internal Revenue Service. Several of his clients, including a sheet metal fabrication shop, an industrial management company and a physical therapy business, received delinquent tax bills ranging from $2,203 to $457,626.
Under federal statutes, Byron must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence, and, upon release, will be under the supervision of the United States Probation Office for three years.
The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Secret Service.