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Justice Department Sues Roger Stone, Alleging ‘Fraudulent’ Scheme to Dodge $2 Million in Taxes

Blake Montgomery
·2 min read
Joe Raedle/Getty
Joe Raedle/Getty

The Justice Department sued Roger Stone on Friday, accusing him of failing to pay more than $2 million in taxes.

The suit, filed in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, alleges Stone, 67, and his wife, Nydia, dodged $1,590,361 in taxes between 2007 and 2011 and stiffed the IRS of $407,036 in 2018 alone. The couple used a company, Drake Ventures, to “shield their personal income from enforced collection and fund a lavish lifestyle,” according to the Justice Department.

The DOJ calls Drake Ventures “an alter ego of the Stones,” alleging that despite appearances of separation between the couple and the company, “the Stones dominated and controlled Drake Ventures to such an extent that it does not exist as an independent entity.” The mailing address of the company is the Stone’s house, and the husband and wife each own 50 percent of the LLC, according to the suit. The Florida Secretary of State has twice dissolved the company.

The Stones allegedly sent checks that listed Roger Stone as the payee to Drake Ventures, upwards of $1 million in total for 2018 and 2019. The company would pay for most of the Stones’ purchases and financial liabilities, including $500,000 in taxes in 2018 and 2019 and the $140,000 down payment on their condominium in February 2019. The company did all this, the DOJ alleges, without keeping necessary documentation. The financial arrangement “evaded and frustrated the IRS’s collection efforts,” DOJ lawyers wrote.

“[The Stones] used Drake Ventures to receive payments payable to Roger Stone personally, pay their personal expenses, shield their assets, and avoid reporting taxable income to the IRS,” the DOJ alleges.

In addition to the Stones and Drake Ventures, the Justice Department is also suing the company that owns the Stones’ condominium, Bertran Family Revocable Trust, alleging that the transfer of ownership was a fraudulent transaction meant to further hide the Stones from financial liability. Nydia Stone is sole grantor and sole trustee, the suit says, giving her complete control over it.

The suit is not the Stones’ first dance with tax authorities. In May 2017, they agreed to pay roughly $20,000 per month toward the sum of unpaid taxes, according to the lawsuit. They allegedly used Drake Ventures’ Wells Fargo bank account to do so but defaulted on the agreement in March 2019 after purchasing their house.

Stone has been a longtime confidant of Donald Trump and briefly served as the former president’s campaign adviser. Stone was convicted of lying to Congress in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into election interference. Trump commuted Stone’s sentence in July 2020 just days before the GOP operative was scheduled to report to prison.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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