Cassville waterslide owner pleads guilty to false tax return

Western District of Missouri Attorney icon, courtroom

CASSVILLE, Mo. – The owner of a Cassville waterslide attraction pleads guilty in federal court to making a false tax return.

Jerry Don Beebe, 67, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.

Beebe owned and operated Beebe’s Roaring River Waterslide during the investigation from 2015-2018. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Missouri, by pleading guilty today, Beebe admitted that he filed false federal income tax returns for tax years 2015 to 2018 because he did not want to pay additional taxes.

According to his plea agreement, Beebe was interested in selling his business and met with an undercover federal agent, posing as a potential buyer, on two occasions in October 2018 and June 2019. During the meetings, Beebe showed the undercover agent records documenting the business’s true gross receipts, which differed from what Beebe reported on his federal tax returns.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says Beebe’s records showed gross receipts of $135,282 for 2017 (when Beebe only reported $24,535 on his tax return) and gross receipts of $145,451 for 2018 (when Beebe only reported $29,172 on his tax return). Beebe told the undercover agent that he destroyed his records for 2015 and 2016, but stated he had gross receipts of at least $70,000 for each of these years.

Beebe admitted that he routinely destroyed his business records, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Beebe told the undercover agent that he was in “the mode of secrecy.” When showing the undercover agent his 2017 and 2018 records, Beebe said he was “gun shy” and wouldn’t have these records much longer. However, the records were recovered during the execution of search warrants at Beebe’s business and residence on July 18, 2019. Beebe also dealt in large amounts of cash, and told the undercover agent that he paid everything in cash that he could.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Beebe must pay $70,824 in restitution to the federal government and the state of Missouri for $50,966 in unpaid federal taxes from 2015 to 2018, $6,626 in unpaid Missouri income taxes from 2015 to 2018, and $13,232 in unpaid Missouri sales taxes from 2015 to 2018.

Under federal statutes, Beebe is subject to a sentence of up to three years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Missouri Department of Revenue – Criminal Tax Investigation Bureau.