Lansing real estate developer sentenced for tax evasion

Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - A Lansing real estate developer was sentenced to prison for tax evasion.

61-year-old Scott Chappelle of Okemos and East Lansing was sentenced to 38 months in prison after preventing the IRS from collecting unpaid taxes from him and his businesses for over a decade. Officials said that all this took place while Chappelle funded a lavish lifestyle that included multiple houses, a yacht, and plastic surgery.

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U.S. Attorney Mark Totten made a statement on Chappelle’s case.

“Rather than working hard and playing by the rules, Scott Chapelle broke the law,” said Totten. “Chapelle spent cash that wasn’t his – funds withheld from his workers as employment taxes, which he then hid from the IRS – to support an extravagant lifestyle he didn’t earn. Now and always, my office will hold individuals and businesses accountable who refuse to follow the rules.”

Court documents state that Chappelle was an attorney and former CPA who worked at multiple businesses, all of which were involved in real estate development and property management in the East Lansing area.

Chappelle made an attempt to evade payment of those taxes after the IRS began to collect. He made false statements to the IRS about his and his companies’ assets while keeping his houses secret. He also lied about the financial hardships he and his companies were dealing with.

“Chappelle failed to tell the agents about real property that he purchased – including a house in Ohio he had purchased just one month earlier – and he concealed the source of the funds used to pay a mortgage on a condominium in East Lansing,” said the US Department of Justice.

In addition to jailtime, Chappelle has been ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay a fine of $150,000 and $1,233,836 in restitution to the United States.


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