A Creve Coeur venture capitalist was sentenced to five years in federal prison on a tax evasion charge for dodging millions of dollars in taxes from 2006 to 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. Burton Douglas Morriss, 50, should have paid $5.5 million, prosecutors said, but used $18 million in tax losses in 2007 alone to reduce the amount he claimed to owe.
The companies that incurred the losses “were established as single member limited liability companies for Morriss’s mother,” and she had already claimed those losses in past returns, prosecutors said.
The Securities and Exchange Commission sanctioned Morris after the collapse of venture capital companies he ran, and accused him of defrauding investors by transferring money to himself for his personal use. The SEC will also ask for return of the “ill-gotten gains” and civil penalties, prosecutors said.