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KSHB 41 I-Team travels to lake house purchased by KC-area businessman accused of money laundering

Posted at 3:07 PM, Oct 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-20 20:34:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Tuesday, the KSHB 41 I-Team traveled to the lake house owned by a Kansas City-area businessman who's accused of purchasing the property with COVID-19 relief funds.

The waterfront property is located on Lake of the Ozarks.

The I-Team drove to the lake to try and talk with Joe Campbell about the accusations laid out in an affidavit filed on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service.

The IRS accuses Campbell of money laundering and wire fraud in connection to the purchase of the lake house, in addition to two vehicles.

While federal officers seized the vehicles in May, records with Morgan County Assessor's Office show Campbell's wife is still listed as the owner of the lake house.

No one answered when the I-Team knocked on the door to the property. No cars were in the driveway.

Neighbors in the area tell the I-Team Campbell is rarely there, adding Campbell's son is the one who primarily visits the house on the weekends.

The affidavit shows Campbell fraudulently received $936,000 in COVID-19 relief funds in early 2020.

The IRS says shortly after Campbell received the funds, he began transferring money between bank accounts.

On May 26, 2020, federal officers say Campbell transferred $87,849 from his bank account to a title company to purchase the home on Lake of the Ozarks.

The inconspicuous home is listed online as having one bedroom and one bathroom.

According to the documents, the Small Business Administration's computer systems flagged duplicate applications from Campbell's businesses for COVID-19 relief funds.

The SBA says Campbell filed 20 applications under various business names for relief, five of which were approved.

When an employee with the SBA began looking into the loans, she discovered Campbell's businesses didn't qualify.

The employee also states Campbell was asked to submit tax returns to help process his applications, which contained numerous errors.

One of the businesses Campbell received a loan for hasn't been active with the Kansas Secretary of State since 2016.

According to the affidavit, the IRS did not put in a request to seize the lake house.

Questionable dealings

It's not the first time Campbell's purchases have raised suspicions.

In 2018, the I-Team revealed Campbell was on the winning end of a deal between him and the City of Independence in regards to the purchase of Rockwood Golf Club.

A certificate of value shows Campbell purchased the golf course for $550,000 in Sept. 2017.

Two months later, Campbell sold the property to the City of Independence for $985,000.

The city upset taxpayers by abruptly tearing down the historic golf course and turning it into a solar farm.

A similar situation happened in 2013.

Records show the city entered a contract to purchase the old Medical Center of Independence, which is now part of the city's utility building.

The city entered the contract to purchase the property for $1.5 million from a seller who was represented by John Carnes, an attorney in Independence who spent time in prison for bribing a former Independence City Council member.

Carnes also has known ties to Campbell.

During the deal, for unknown reasons, Campbell took over representing the seller and finished the contract, which cost the city an extra $500,000.