AP NEWS

Home builders plead guilty to tax evasion in mansion scheme

January 2, 2020 GMT

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The owners of a Billings custom home construction business have pleaded guilty to tax evasion connected with building a mansion for a businessman who has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.

James and Timmilynn Kisling of Billings acknowledged they did not pay about $320,000 in taxes on just over $800,000 in income they hid from the IRS.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided over Tuesday’s hearing and said he would recommend that U.S. District Judge Susan Watters accept their pleas, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Kislings built a $525,000 home for themselves in 2014 but rolled that cost into the $10 million mansion they built for Larry Wayne Price Jr., a former vice president of Signal Peak Energy, prosecutors said. Price deducted the cost of the Kislings’ home from what he paid the Kislings, so that profit was never reported as income.

The Kislings also borrowed $275,000 from Price in 2015 which was deducted from their profit on the mansion build and not reported as income.

The Kislings face up to five years in prison and up to a $100,000 fine. They were released pending sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.

Price is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to bilking three companies out of more than $20 million, including money used to build the mansion — which has 10 bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, three pools, a bowling alley and an indoor shooting range and sits on 108 acres (44 hectares). It has never been lived in.

One of the companies Price bilked was given title to the mansion and it was put on the market for $16.5 million in June. According to the listing by broker Dawn Maddux, there is a contingent offer on the house, but backup offers are being accepted.