Donald Tankersley, 76, former chief executive officer of White Dairy Ice Cream and Tankersley Foods in Van Buren, Arkansas, pleaded guilty to two counts of tax fraud in federal court on Sept. 20.
He faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison for each charge, according to Duane Kees, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas.
White Dairy Ice Cream Company and Tankersley Foods are privately-held companies owned by the Tankersley family.
Prosecutors claimed Tankersley “siphoned” company funds by creating fake checks to nonexistent trucking companies and deposited the money into his personal bank accounts.
Court documents alleged Tankersley falsified corporate tax returns for his company in 2013 by “causing the checks to nonexistent trucking companies to be listed as corporate expenses.” His actions reduced the company’s corporate tax liability and caused a tax loss for White Dairy’s 2013 corporate tax return, according to Tankersley’s plea agreement.
Prosecutors claimed Tankersley also failed to report the checks as personal income, which also caused a tax loss.
Tankersley, who retired as CEO in 2018, has agreed to pay more than $188,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. A sentencing date has not been set.