Kansas City scrap dealer pleads guilty to tax evasion

US DOJ says owner of company evaded payment of more than $350,000 in federal income tax.

March 14, 2017
Recycling Today Staff

Tom Larson, the acting U.S Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, has announced that Joseph Lee Scott Deardorff, the owner of Total Recovery and Recycling LLC, a scrap metal recycling company located in Kansas City, Missouri, has pleaded guilty to tax evasion charges that were filed in a September 20, 2016 federal indictment.

In a release, the U.S. Department of Justice, Western District of Missouri, says that by pleading guilty to the charge, Deardorff admitted that he took multiple steps to willfully and intentionally evade payment of around $355,310 in federal income taxes and to hide assets from the IRS.

Deardorff specifically pleaded guilty to attempting to evade paying a large part of the federal income tax owed for 2011. According to the plea agreement, Deardorff earned $194,067 in taxable income in 2011 and owed $65,067 in federal income tax that year. The total tax loss, including relevant conduct during tax years 2007 through 2012, is $355,310.

Deardorff admitted that he concealed and attempted to conceal from the IRS the nature and extent of his assets. For example, Deardorff cashed (rather than deposited) about $731,656 of the $736,070 checks he received from the sale of scrap vehicles and scrap metal in 2011.

Deardorff cashed those checks at different gas stations and check cashers throughout the metro Kansas City area, using the cash proceedings to purchase additional scrap vehicles and scrap metal to hide the money he received from the sale of vehicles and metal from the IRS.

Deardorff also used cash from the sale of scrap vehicles and scrap metal to purchase multiple properties for business and investment purposes, multiple Corvettes for investment purposes and high-end GPS units, speakers, CD players and DVD players for his tow trucks.

Deardorff, who paid his employees in cash, also admitted that he failed to file Forms W2 for any of his employees for calendar year 2011.

Under federal statutes, Deardorff is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole.