March 27, 2013

The 60-year-old Carroll man who supplies coin-operated games to area businesses and allegedly falsified reports to avoid paying about $329,000 in state taxes has a tentative agreement with state prosecutors to avoid a felony conviction and prison, according to court records.

Dan M. Goins, owner of Kelly Coin Machine Co. in Carroll, was accused last year of falsifying sales-tax reports from 2006 to 2009 to conceal $4.8 million worth of sales.

Iowa law requires businesses such as Kelly Coin to pay a sales tax of 5 percent of its earnings from those coin-operated games.

State investigators uncovered the alleged tax fraud when Goins reported different amounts of income in his income-tax and sales-tax returns. The income-tax returns had an amount that was "quite a bit higher" than what he reported for the sales-tax returns.

"The defendant stated that he was 'estimating' when filing his sales tax returns," a court affidavit said.

Goins faces two charges for filing a false return/fraudulent practice in the first degree and three for tax evasion. The felony crimes would have a maximum punishment of 35 years in prison.

The case was set for trial this week, but court records show that Goins and prosecutors of the Iowa Attorney General's office have forged an unspecified plea deal, in which Goins will plead guilty to one or more crimes and prosecutors will ask a judge to give Goins a deferred judgment.

Goins' attorney Brian Humke, of Ames, wrote that Goins chose to make a deal rather than take the case to trial because "the community may view him with suspicion," and "he will have to endure prolonged anxiety and concern" about going to prison.

Under a deferred judgment, Goins would not formally be convicted of the crimes as long as he abides by the terms of his probation, which would likely span many years. He might also be required to pay the sales taxes owed.