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Missouri News Briefs

Missouri inmate, his wife plead guilty in tax fraud scheme

A married couple has pleaded guilty in a scheme in which southwest Missouri jail inmates tried to unlawfully land big tax refunds.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 43-year-old Andre Garnett and his wife, 35-year-old Kenya Morris-Garnett, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy to defraud the government with respect to claims. The plea agreement says that while Garnett was incarcerated in Christian County, he and another inmate conspired to submit false federal tax returns with the idea that they would then rake in large tax refunds.

Morris-Garnett was not in jail but participated in the scheme from the outside.

One of the fraudulent tax returns would have resulted in a refund of $18,427, and another would have resulted in a refund of $250,993. Payment of both refunds was halted by the IRS.


Overtime theft cases dropped against 3 St. Louis officers

Prosecutors have dropped charges — for now — against three St. Louis police officers accused of falsifying time sheets and getting paid for overtime they didn’t perform.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a bench trial had been set for Monday for officers Michael Langsdorf, Emin Talic and Dan O’Brien. The decision to drop the charges was made after a judge denied a motion asking for more time to gather records. A circuit attorney’s office spokeswoman says the cases will be refiled.

Police used undercover surveillance of the officers’ homes during overnight hours they claimed to have worked in February and March 2017. Two of the three — and a fourth who was acquitted — lived on the same street in Arnold. O’Brien lived in Manchester.


Water main break at Hearnes Center causes $100,000 damage

University of Missouri officials say a broken water main caused more than $100,000 damage at the Hearnes Center, and that figure might increase.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the water main break in an exterior line happened on Saturday. It sent thousands of gallons of water and mud into the arena.

Missouri Athletics Department spokesman Nick Joos said the wood floor will have to be discarded. He says officials will have to determine what damage occurred under the floor.

The cause of the break has not been determined.

The Hearnes Center was the home of the Tigers basketball team until 2004, when Mizzou Arena opened.

It is currently used for university athletics and other events. The next scheduled event is an Oct. 5 volleyball match.


Parson calls for change to low-income housing tax credits

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says state tax credits for low-income housing won’t be issued until lawmakers revamp the program.

Parson on Monday said in the meantime, he will still consider voting for federal low-income housing tax credits but won’t support state tax credits.

Parson is among Missouri Housing Development Commission members who vote on how much, if any, low-income housing tax credits are awarded to subsidize affordable housing.

Critics, including former Gov. Eric Greitens, have said the tax credits are inefficient. But Greitens and his housing commission appointees faced pushback for voting against state tax credits last year. Greitens’ appointees later resigned.

Parson on Monday named the Carthage Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Mark Elliff and Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President and CEO Rick McDowell to the board.