BRAINERD, Minn. — A Pequot Lakes couple is charged with several felonies for allegedly filing fraudulent tax returns and not paying their share of income tax.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue says the Crow Wing County Attorney's Office has charged Shannon Steele and Russel Steele with five felony counts. They're accused of filing fraudulent income tax returns between 2017 and 2021.
According to the criminal complaint, Shannon Steele allegedly withdrew thousands between those five years from bank accounts connected to her dog rescue nonprofit, Northern Lakes Rescue. She's accused of using those funds to buy airplane tickets, appliances, groceries, jet ski rentals, and video games.
The Minnesota Department of Revenue says in total, the Steeles avoided paying more than $300,000 in taxable income during those five years by omitting those withdrawals as income.
The Steeles could face up to 20 years in prison, $50,000 in fines, or both if convicted.
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