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Yellow Medicine couple pleads guilty to tax charges

A Yellow Medicine County couple charged with multiple counts of refusing to pay state taxes have entered guilty pleas in district court.

Robert Cunningham, 42, and Ann Marie Cunningham, 43, both of Wood Lake, entered the pleas May 27.

Each entered guilty pleas to one felony count of failure to file a tax return and one gross misdemeanor failure to pay taxes, according to Yellow Medicine County Attorney Keith Helgeson.

The court ordered a pre-sentence investigation. Both are scheduled to return to court for sentencing July 29. The Cunninghams allegedly owe more than $43,000 in back taxes and penalties, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Robert Cunningham was originally charged with six counts of failing to file tax returns, six counts of failing to pay taxes, and one count of identity theft for tax years 2002 through 2007.

Ann Cunningham was originally charged with two counts of failing to file tax returns and two counts of failing to pay taxes for 2006 and 2007.

The criminal complaint alleges that Robert Cunningham used his mother's social security number in place of his own while working for a trucking firm. His mother was contacted by the Internal Revenue Service with a claim that she had $133,656 in unclaimed revenue in 2006 and 2007.

She told investigators that she contacted her son and that he allegedly told her "he does not pay taxes and never will.''

The felony charges carry possible prison sentences of five years and or fines of $10,000.