Pekin man indicted for allegedly filing false tax returns


Date: April 1, 2021


PEORIA, IL — An indictment returned by a federal grand jury charges a Pekin, Ill., man, Kenin Edwards, with allegedly underreporting his income on federal and state tax returns filed for tax years 2014 to 2018. Edwards made his initial appearance in federal court in Peoria today via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley. The indictment was returned by the grand jury on March 15, 2021, but remained sealed pending Edwards' initial court appearance today. A trial in the case is scheduled on June 1, 2021.

According to the indictment, from early 2014 to late 2017, Edwards worked as a contractor for logging businesses and was paid a commission for the deals he negotiated between landowners and third-party timber purchasers. In late 2017, Edwards formed a partnership known as "Edwards & Sons Log Purveyors."

The indictment alleges that from as early as April 2015 and continuing to at least the end of May 2019, for tax years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018, Edwards willfully underreported the income he made in the logging business to reduce his tax liabilities. According to the indictment, Edwards underreported his personal and business income on returns he filed with the Internal Revenue Service and with the Illinois Department of Revenue.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas F. McMeyer is representing the government in the prosecution. The IRS, Criminal Investigation Division, and the Illinois Department of Revenue conducted the investigation.

The indictment specifically charges four counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and seven counts of making a false tax return. If convicted, for the offenses of mail fraud and wire fraud, the maximum statutory penalty for each count is up to 20 years in prison; for making a false tax return, the maximum penalty is up to three years in prison.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.