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CHEYENNE (WNE) — A former Cheyenne business owner pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to failing to file tax forms and making fraudulent statements on applications for health-care benefits.

Douglas E. Brendle owned and operated the local company Brendle Climbing Systems and was the creator of Fitwall exercise equipment, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office.

He operated a business in Cheyenne between 2008 and 2012 before selling the rights to his Fitwall exercise machine.

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Between 2013 and 2014, he received nearly $1.5 million in payments for the rights to his system. But during that time, he failed to file individual income tax returns or pay income taxes in 2013 and 2014. His failure to file resulted in a total tax loss of $404,501, according to the news release.

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In 2013 and 2014, Brendle also filed for Medicaid benefits for his family, resulting in a $20,000 overpayment, according to the release.

Brendle's sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24, where he faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison, as well as a term of supervised release, restitution payments and fines.

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