The Justice Department on Friday indicted Roger Stone, the loyal former adviser to ex-President Donald Trump, who claimed he and his wife owe nearly $ 2 million in unpaid federal taxes and other fees.
The lawsuit accuses Stone and Nydia Stone of using an “alter ego” company in an effort to “protect their personal income from forced debt collection and fund a lavish lifestyle.”
The civil suit also alleges that the Stones “were intended to defraud the United States” through a fraudulent transfer of money used to buy their home.
Stone, 68, a longtime Republican politician, was pardoned by Trump in December after he was convicted of lying to Congress.
The DOJ’s complaint, filed in federal court in southern Florida, alleges that Stone and his wife underpaid their federal income taxes for five consecutive years, from 2007 to 2011. The Stones owe $ 1,590,361.89, including interest and late payment penalties, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit also alleges that Stone failed to pay his full tax bill in 2018, when he filed separately from his spouse. He owes $ 407,036.84 in income taxes, interest and penalties for that year, the complaint said.
“Despite cancellation and request for payment, Roger and Nydia Stone have failed and refused to pay the full amount of the debts,” the DOJ claims.
Stone did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on the lawsuit.
The complaint alleges that the Stones “dodged and frustrated the IRS debt collection efforts” by using a Delaware limited liability company called Drake Ventures. The company is “dominated and controlled” by the family to such an extent that it does not exist as an independent entity, the DOJ states.
Drake Ventures does not have a website or phone number, all members are part of Stone’s family, and the address is the same as the Stones’ home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the complaint said.
“The Stones used Drake Ventures’ bank accounts to pay for a significant portion of their personal expenses, including groceries, dental bills, spas, salons, clothing and restaurant expenses,” the complaint said.
They also paid more than $ 500,000 of their personal tax liabilities through Drake Ventures’ bank accounts in 2018 and 2019, and they used the company to pay Stone’s employees and family members without providing proper paperwork, the DOJ claims.
“The Stones used Drake Ventures for an improper purpose and harm the United States,” the complaint said. “They used Drake Ventures to receive payments due in person to Roger Stone, to pay for their personal expenses, protect their assets, and avoid reporting taxable income to the IRS.”
The DOJ’s lawsuit also accuses the Stones of fraudulently transferring their home through a Florida revocable trust they created, the Bertran Trust.
The Stones had struck a deal with the IRS in May 2017 to pay $ 19,485 a month for their unpaid taxes, the complaint said.
After Stone was sued in January 2019, his family founded the Bertran Trust and bought their home in his name, using money they transferred from Drake Ventures to that entity to make a down payment of $ 140,000.
In March 2019, the Stones failed to make their monthly payment to the IRS, forcing the agency to scrap the installment plan.
“The Stones intended to defraud the United States by holding their assets in the accounts of Drake Ventures, over which they had full control, and using those assets to purchase the Stone Residence in the name of the Bertran Trust”, claims the complaint.
The DOJ says the purchase was marked by “numerous fraud badges.” The complaint alleges that the Stones were insolvent and “unable to pay their debt”; face the threat of a lawsuit; and in anticipation that the IRS would “resort to forcible collection of their unpaid tax liabilities as soon as they fail to meet their monthly payments”.