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Head of North Carolina Board of Funeral Services pleads guilty to tax fraud


GREENSBORO, North Carolina — The president of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Services is one of two men who have pleaded guilty to federal tax fraud.

The U.S. Justice Department said in a statement that 61-year-old Kenneth Dale Stainback of Burlington and 60-year-old Stephen Ray Smith of Mebane pleaded guilty this week.

The men are two of the owners of McClure Funeral Service in Graham and pleaded guilty to conspiring to take nearly $420,000 from the business and to file false tax returns.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said the men could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined $250,000. They also could be ordered to repay the IRS. They are to be sentenced March 24.

Prosecutors said Stainback, Smith and another co-conspirator bought the business in 2004 and began diverting money. The third person's name was not included in the prosecutor's statement.

The diverted funds were not reported on McClure's corporate tax returns, resulting in a corporate tax-loss of nearly $160,000. The money also was not reported on personal income tax returns.

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