Cellphone store owner pleads guilty to $174K income tax fraud

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The west suburban owner of several prepaid phone stores in Chicago pleaded guilty Thursday to cheating the federal government out of more than $174,000 in income tax by filing false tax returns.

Ken Leon, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of filing a false individual federal income tax return in 2012, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office.

The Westmont resident owned Ezbuyphones, a prepaid phone business with three Chicago stores, according to federal prosecutors. The stores sold cellphones, accessories and prepaid phone minutes in addition to providing electronic bill-paying services.

Prosecutors said Leon filed four false tax returns between 2009-12 that failed to report “significant income” he earned from the business. He regularly made check deposits from his business into his personal account and paid personal expenses from his corporate account.

In 2012, he reported he earned slightly more than $110,000 when his wages and compensation actually totaled about $347,546, prosecutors said.

Leon pleaded guilty to causing a federal tax loss of $174,093 with his false filings, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

He faces a maximum of three years in prison and $250,000 fine, prosecutors said. The terms of his plea deal include an advisory sentence of 12-18 months in prison.

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