Feds: Bloody footprints lead to stash of cash, tax-evasion charges in Lower Windsor
Follow the money — it's a mantra embraced by criminal investigators working to solve all kinds of crimes.
But in the case of a former Lower Windsor Township couple who have pleaded guilty to federal tax crimes, it was following the evidence of a double shooting that led investigators to the money, according to the office of U.S. Attorney David Freed.
Lower Windsor Township Police and other first responders were called to the home of Matthew Forney and Kim Forney in the 1700 block of Winters Road on Sept. 23, 2018, because both had been shot during a domestic dispute, according to court records.
As police investigated the scene, they followed a set of bloody footprints from inside the Forney home to the outdoor pool house, according to Freed's spokesperson, Dawn Clark.
Inside the pool house officers found a garbage bag with a large amount of bundled cash inside, Clark said.
Police then obtained a search warrant and found more bundled cash, plus receipts, inside a large gun safe in the home, all of which were seized, according to Clark.
The Internal Revenue Service's criminal division investigated and determined the Forneys earned the cash from their business, but they failed to report that income for the years 2014 through 2017 and didn't pay taxes on it, according to federal court documents.
Unreported income of $818K: The unreported income for those years was about $818,000, federal officials said, resulting in about $292,000 in unpaid taxes.
The Forneys reported and paid taxes on business proceeds that customers remitted by check or credit card, according to Clark, but the Forneys failed to report cash payments.
The Forneys previously owned KP Home Collection LLC, with locations in Columbia and Paradise, Clark said. The business is under new ownership, she said.
The business' website states it is a primitive country store specializing in primitive country crafts and gifts, craft supplies, home decor, candles and candle accessories. Customers must have a wholesalers license to shop there, the website states.
Matthew Forney, 41, pleaded guilty Friday to four felony counts of tax evasion, according to federal court records.
Kim Forney, 47, pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to four felony counts of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return, records state.
A presentence conference for them is scheduled for Dec. 15, according to court records.
Attorney Chris Ferro declined comment on behalf of his client, Kim Forney. Attorney Jerry Russo, who is representing Matthew Forney, could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The shootings: The fiance of the Forneys' daughter was charged with two counts of aggravated assault for shooting them, but all charges against him were dropped in June 2019.
Robert Hedrick was trying to intervene in a physical domestic assault on Kim Forney by her husband, according to Hedrick's attorney, Chuck Hobbs. Kim Forney maintains Hedrick was trying to save her, Hobbs has said.
Court testimony revealed Matthew Forney physically assaulted his wife, then put his hands around her neck.
During the struggle, Kim Forney grabbed her handgun and passed it to Hedrick, who fired several times, according to testimony.
Kim Forney was shot once in the left thigh, and Matthew Forney was shot twice in the chest, officials have said.
Matthew and Kim Forney are free on bail and no longer live together. His bail conditions forbid him from having any contact with her, according to federal court records.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.