The office of the Springfield, Southern Division, U.S. District Court. (Photo by Shannon Cay)

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A Springfield accountant pleaded guilty Monday to stealing more than $432,000 over several years from a trust fund he controlled. 

Ray Leonard Marple, 61, pleaded guilty to counts of wire fraud and making a false federal tax return. The pleas were connected to withdrawals of about $432,981 from a revocable trust account between July 7, 2017 to May 3, 2023, after the death of its grantor, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Western District of Missouri.

Under a plea agreement made to U.S. Magistrate Judge David Rush, Marple must pay restitution of $415,481 to the trust and at least $59,622 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service. He must also forfeit to the government a money judgment of $415,481 and his Springfield residential property, and could also be subject to a federal prison sentence of up to 23 years without parole.

Marple, a CPA, admitted to withdrawing trustee fees far above a total of $17,500 he would have been normally entitled to, according to the release, and used those withdrawals to purchase residential property in Springfield.  

Marple also admitted to under-reporting his income on federal tax returns from 2018 to 2020 by $177,000. He has operated his own accounting firm since 1999. 

The case was investigated by the IRS and FBI, and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney.

Joe Hadsall

Joe Hadsall is the education reporter for the Hauxeda. Hadsall has more than two decades of experience reporting in the Ozarks with the Joplin Globe, Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine. Contact him at (417) 837-3671 or More by Joe Hadsall