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Upper St. Clair man expected to plead guilty to corruption charge over $6.2M tax bill

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

An Upper St. Clair man is scheduled to plead guilty on Friday to “corruptly endeavoring” to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service from collecting more than $6.2 million he owes from an earlier conviction, according to court documents.

A federal grand jury in 2011 indicted Michael Carlow, 61, on six charges that he set up or gained control of several companies to disguise his income to avoid paying the taxes and penalties.

Prosecutors on Thursday filed an information accusing him of the same conduct but reducing the charge to the single corruption count. U.S. District Judge David Cercone about five minutes later scheduled Carlow's plea hearing, according to court records.

When prosecutors use an information instead of an indictment, it typically means they have reached a plea bargain with the defendant.

Carlow's attorneys, Martin Dietz and Tina Miller, couldn't be reached for comment.

The Justice Department's Tax Division in Washington is handling Carlow's prosecution because he briefly consulted with one of the federal prosecutors in the Pittsburgh office while she was still in private practice. A Tax Division representative couldn't be reached for comment.

Carlow owes $6.2 million from a 1996 federal conviction on six counts of bank fraud and tax evasion connected to a $31 million check-kiting scheme that closed down City Pride Bakery and damaged the finances of several other businesses.

Carlow's longtime girlfriend, Elizabeth Jones, 52, pleaded guilty in August to conspiring with him in the tax evasion scheme and is awaiting sentencing.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or bbowling@tribweb.com.

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