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MADISON, Wis. -A former Madison-area motivational speaker was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for failing to file income tax returns, according to a state Department of Justice release.

Eric Plantenberg, 42, of Bend, Oregon, was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison for repeatedly and willfully failing to file income tax returns, officials said.

Plantenberg pleaded guilty on April 15 to three counts of failing to file income tax returns from the tax years 2006 through 2008, according to the release. Plantenberg also admitted that during that time, he earned more than $1.3 million as an owner and president of three Madison-based self-help companies – Freedom Personal Development, Freedom Professional Service and I-Kinetic.

The judge rejected Plantenberg’s request for a probationary sentenced, noting that Plantenberg was motivated by greed and that he stole from the public in failing to pay $367,589 in federal taxes, according to the release. The judge said that a prison sentence was required to send a “strong deterrent message” to those who would consider cheating on their taxes.

DOJ: Motivational speaker sentenced for not paying taxes on $1.3 million

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