Former Stillwater mayor pleads guilty to federal fraud charges

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Former Stillwater Mayor Ken Harycki pleaded guilty Thursday to a charge of conspiring to defraud the federal government.

Harycki, 51, was charged last month. He was mayor from 2006 until November of 2014, when he abruptly resigned from office.

According to charges, Harycki, the owner of Customized Payroll Services in Stillwater, prepared and filed fraudulent tax forms for the clients – brothers Thurlee and Roylee Belfrey, both 48, of St. Paul – which helped them conceal over $10 million in tax liabilities, the Pioneer Press reports.

Based on the offense level outlined in the plea agreement, sentencing guidelines call for 37-46 months in prison and a fine of $3,000-$30,000, however Harycki's attorney says he may receive a lesser sentence if he provides assistance in another federal case against the Belfreys, the Stillwater Gazette reports.

"If his cooperation results in conviction of other individuals, the government has agreed to move for a reduction of his sentence," Thomas Brever told MPR News. "That technically is a departure from the sentencing guidelines."

A sentencing date hasn't been set.

The Belfrey brothers ran health care businesses, and U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger says Harycki knew they were collecting payroll deductions from employees, but weren't paying taxes to the federal government.

The Belfreys were arrested Dec. 16, 2014, and charged in U.S. District Court in St. Paul with health care fraud and conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Pioneer Press notes. Their jury trial is set to begin Feb. 17.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.

Related