70-year-old Grayslake man gets 9 months for tax evasion

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A 70-year-old north suburban man has been sentenced to nine months in prison for failing to pay income tax on more than $2.3 million.

Herbert C. Watts of Grayslake was sentenced after pleading guilty to filing a false tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice. He is the owner and president of Branko Perforating FWD in Bristol, Wisconsin.

Between 2009 and 2014, Watts failed to report income on $2.3 million in cash from scrap metal sales to a Cicero-based company, prosecutors said. The scrap sales were not reported in business records and the cash income was concealed from accountants who prepared his returns.

Watts was fined $10,000 in addition to the prison time, prosecutors said. Prior to sentencing, he paid the taxes he owed to the IRS and the state of Illinois.

His case was part of an ongoing investigation of cash transactions in the local scrap metal industry, prosecutors said.

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