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Feds charge W.Va. event organizer with tax fraud

Dec. 07, 2012 @ 05:49 PM

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The treasurer of an annual West Virginia cultural festival is charged with filing a false federal income tax return.

A Friday U.S. District Court filing alleges Deborah S. Starks purposely under-reported her 2008 income as less than $14,000. Federal prosecutors allege her taxable income was greatly above that amount.

Starks is treasurer of MultiFest. She co-founded the annual event with husband Stephen Starks in the early 1990s. Currently held on the state Capitol grounds, MultiFest offers a mix of food, arts, crafts, music and other entertainments one weekend each summer.

Deborah Starks declined immediate comment when contacted late Friday. Prosecutors leveled the charge through a filing known as an information, instead of seeking an indictment from a grand jury. That usually indicates a plea agreement is possible.