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Mo' Money tax franchisee gets 20 months in jail for tax fraud

Jimi Clark, owner of the St. Louis Mo' Money Taxes franchise, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for falsely claiming educational tax credits on 47 returns.

Clark pleaded guilty to the charge back in July.

The total loss to the U.S. Treasury due to Clark fraudulently claiming the American Opportunity educational tax credit was more than $50,000.

Now I realize that 50K is not a lot in the grand scheme of tax fraud. It's nowhere near the $9 million that another tax crook pleaded guilty to perpetrating last week.

Neither is 20 months an exorbitant prison term.

InLivingColorlogoBut if you were a fan like me of the early 1990s television show In Living Color, you know why I just had to mention this particular instance of tax fraud.

Star-studded comedy: The sketch comedy program on the fledgling Fox entertainment (not news) channel was a popular culture launching pad not only for its creators, brothers Damon and Keenan Ivory Wayans, but also their fellow comic actor costars Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier and Jim Carrey.

Actress Rosie Perez, Dancing with the Stars judge and choreographer Carrie Ann Inaba and singer/dancer/actress Jennifer Lopez were Fly Girls, the show's dance troupe.

It also showcased a who's who of musical performers, including Queen Latifah, Heavy D, Public Enemy, Kris Kross, En Vogue, Mary J. Blige and Tupac Shakur.

Mo' Money business model? "OK Kay," some of you might be saying, "that all sounds well and good. I'll check out show clips online. But it still doesn't explain why an old TV show prompted you to mention this particular tax fraud conviction."

Living Color Mo Money seminarHere's the reason.

One of the show's most popular skits incorporated the catchphrase "mo' money."

It featured streetwise pitchmen Whiz and Iceman, portrayed by Damon and Keenan, who regularly advised their audience to make more money without using their money.

"Whose money should we use?" the pair asked. "Who has more money than they know what to do with? The government."

It sounds to me like Clark not only took to heart the TV show's (and tax company's) memorable exhortation, but also used Whiz's and Iceman's business model until federal investigators and prosecutors caught up with him.

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