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State cultural festival co-founder to enter tax fraud plea

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Federal prosecutors say the treasurer of an annual West Virginia cultural festival is expected to plead guilty to income tax fraud.

A plea hearing for Deborah S. Starks is set for this morning in U.S. District Court in Charleston.

Starks is accused of purposely under-reporting her 2008 income as less than $14,000. Prosecutors allege her taxable income was greatly above that amount.

Starks is treasurer of MultiFest. She co-founded the annual event with husband Stephen Starks in the early 1990s. Currently held on the state Capitol grounds, MultiFest offers a mix of food, arts, crafts, music and other entertainment one weekend each summer.



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