George Manlove underreported income and taxable benefits when he headed the Missoula-based electronics chain Vann’s Inc., federal prosecutors charge.
A federal grand jury in March added three tax fraud charges to more than 200 counts previously brought against Manlove, the company’s CEO. In those counts, he is accused of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering and making false statements to a bank.
Paul Lyn Nisbet, the company’s chief financial officer, is accused of the same crimes, except for the tax fraud allegations.
Between 2009 and 2011, Manlove reported income of $1.4 million. Prosecutors said his actual taxable income was $158,407 higher. They say he should have paid $355,332 in federal taxes, $49,341 more than he actually paid.
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Both men have denied the charges against them and have pleaded not guilty. They are scheduled to go to trial Oct. 11 in federal court in Missoula.
Manlove is accused of stealing money from the company and using it to pay for travel expenses, jewelry, personal credit card charges, college tuition, club memberships and unauthorized sales commissions.
He and Nisbet are also accused of setting up shell companies that received $1.7 million in lease payments for two Vann’s stores in Missoula and Helena. The shell companies entered into lease agreements without the authorization of Vann’s board of directors, prosecutors allege.
Vann’s, which opened in 1961, declared bankruptcy in August 2012 and closed several months later. The company had four retail shops, an online store and two sister companies.
Manlove, the son-in-law of company founder Pete Vann, served as CEO from March 2006 until June 2012, when the board asked him to resign. He and his wife, Jill, moved to Eagle in 2014.
If convicted, Manlove and Nisbet face up to 30 years each on the bank fraud and making false statements counts. The other charges each carry prison terms of between three years and 20 years.