Iowa businessman intends to plead guilty to new charges

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — Court records say a northeast Iowa businessman already convicted of failing to pay employment taxes intends to plead guilty to new federal charges.
The records say a plea hearing in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids is scheduled June 5 for Darrell Smith. The charges: mail and wire fraud, money laundering and theft. Smith was sentenced in December to 13 months in prison for payroll tax fraud.
Federal officials say the new charges are related to Smith’s investment of clients’ money into a now-defunct ethanol plant in Hopkinton. Officials say that on several occasions, Smith transferred money from clients’ accounts — against their will and without their knowledge — into his bioenergy fund. Investigators say he used either pre-signed, blank authorization forms or forged his clients’ signatures.