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MultiFest organizer charged with tax fraud

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -

The treasurer of an annual West Virginia cultural festival is charged with filing a false federal income tax return.

A U.S. District Court Filing Dec. 7 alleges Deborah S. Starks purposely under-reported her 2008 income as less than $14,000. Federal prosecutors allege her taxable income was a lot more than that amount.

Starks is the treasurer of MultiFest. She co-founded the annual event with her husband, Stephen Starks, in the early 1990s. The summer event currently takes place at the State Capitol Complex, featuring food, arts, crafts, music and other entertainment.

Deborah Starks declined immediate comment when she was contacted by The Associated Press.

Prosecutors leveled the charge through a filing known as an information, instead of seeking an indictment from a grand jury, which often indicates that a plea agreement is possible.

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