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      Movie theater owner going to prison for not paying taxes

      Movie theater owner Elaine Dawson of Bellaire was sentenced today in federal court to one year and a day in prison for tax evasion.

      Movie theater owner Elaine Dawson of Bellaire was sentenced today in federal court to one year and a day in prison for tax evasion.

      She also must pay back the taxes she owes.

      Dawson pled guilty to charges last year and admitted that she failed to pay nearly $1 million in taxes off income from a string of northern Michigan movie theaters.

      Dawson owns the Bellaire Theater in Bellaire, Petoskey Cinema in Petoskey, Gaylord Cinema in Gaylord, Courtyard Cinemas in Mackinaw City and Kingston Cinema in Cheboygan.

      In her plea agreement, Dawson said she reported only a portion of her income from ticket sales, popcorn, soda and gift cards, from 2004 through 2010.

      Special Agent in Charge Erick Martinez of IRS Criminal Investigation said Dawson chose to live a "lavish" lifestyle.

      "Dawson knew the law and deliberately concealed income in order to paying part of the taxes she owed," Martinez said.