A Conway man has been sentenced to two years and three months in jail for obstructing IRS laws and filing false tax returns regarding his earnings in his online multi-level marketing business.

According to U.S. Attorney Christopher Thyer, Richard C. Mathews, 61, was convicted of five counts of filing false income tax returns and one count of obstructing IRS laws by a jury on July 30.

Mathews is ordered to pay $56,904.29 restitution to the IRS and will begin serving his sentence, with no supervised release, on Jan. 6, 2014.

Mathews operates an online business called Wealth Team International, according to the case indictment.

In the business, network members solicit new membership and a $99 joining fee to be part of the system of money making.

The more people a member recruits, the more money the member and Mathews stand to make under the model.

Mathews stated on his federal tax returns that he had gross receipts of $22,201 between 2004 and 2008, when in fact his bank records showed business deposits of $245,300.42, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Thyer’s office says Mathews made false statements regarding actions taken by IRS agents and created a trust to avoid paying taxes.

The case was investigated by agents from IRS-Criminal Investigations and was prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Harris and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie Dempsey.

Christopher A. Henry is the special agent in charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Nashville Field Office.

The judge who sentenced Mathews was U.S. District Judge J. Leon Holmes.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)