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Scrap metal sales, false tax return lead to prison sentence

CHICAGO (AP) — An investigation of cash transactions in the scrap metal industry has led to the conviction and sentencing of a man who ran a business in Wisconsin.

Herbert Watts of Grayslake, Ill., was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in federal prison for failing to pay taxes on more than $2.3 million. Watts is owner and president of Branko Perforating FWD Inc. of Bristol, Wis.

Watts pleaded guilty earlier this year to filing a false tax return. Prosecutors say his company received more than $2.3 million in cash from the sale of scrap metal to a Cicero, Ill.-based company from 2009 to 2014.

U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey also fined Watts $10,000. The 70-year-old Watts has now paid the taxes he owed to the federal government and the state of Illinois.

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