Utah Couple to Prison for Defrauding Hawai`i Company

HONOLULU, OAHU (Ben Caxton) — A Utah couple will be spending a combined 5-1/2 years in prison after being sentenced for defrauding a Big Island bottled water company. According to court documents, 73-year-old Steve Edwards and 61-year-old Melanie Edwards created fake pass-through companies posing as manufacturers over the last ten years to defraud Koyo USA Corporation which sells bottled ocean water on the Big Island. But the companies the Edwards formed were really just resellers with no employees. IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Justin Campbell said “Melanie and Steve Edwards engaged in a lengthy sophisticated theft and tax fraud scheme” that also resulted in $1.5 million in unpaid taxes through the filing of fake tax documents.

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