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A Michigan real estate consultant and accountant was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for filing false tax returns with the IRS that omitted more than $800,000 in income, most of which he earned from a kickback scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Steven A. Mills, currently of Harbor Springs and formerly of East Lansing, operated Mills Real Estate Consulting LLC. Through his consulting business, Mills was retained by a corporation to supervise several outside real estate agents hired by the corporation and paid substantial commissions. From 2012 to 2015, Mills demanded and received approximately $577,000 in kickbacks from one of these agents, which he did not report as income on his tax returns. Mills also did not report all of the income he received from the corporation, nor did he report $100,000 in compensation he received from a real estate developer for the years 2013 to 2015.

In addition to the term of imprisonment, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney ordered Mills to serve one year of supervised release and to pay $297,858 in restitution to the United States.

Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Tax Division and U.S. Attorney Mark A. Totten for the Western District of Michigan made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Kenneth Vert and Jeffrey McLellan of the Tax Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Stella of the Western District of Michigan prosecuted the case.

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