The Justice Department is suing political strategist and longtime Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone for almost $2 million in unpaid taxes, penalties and interest, dating back more than a decade.
The civil suit, filed Friday in federal court in West Palm Beach, Fla., makes several references to Stone’s indictment two years ago on charges he tried to deceive Congress and threatened a witness during investigations into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The suit says that at the time of his indictment Stone was making regular payments to the IRS on a tax debt of about $1 million he ran up from 2007 to 2011, but after the criminal case was brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Stone stopped paying. Stone also failed to pay about $400,000 in taxes and penalties owed on his 2017 return, the suit alleges. https://b319b9e39f9599c68c6367c79164f6dc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Soon after Stone was arrested in a controversial morning FBI raid at his Fort Lauderdale residence in January 2019, Stone and his wife Nydia moved to a nearby condominium apartment that was purchased by a trust she controlled. The suit alleges that financial move and others were fraud aimed at preventing the IRS from collecting the money Stone and his wife owed and still owe to the feds.
In a statement, Stone said he would fight the suit, adding: “That my wife and I owe a significant amount in federal taxes has been a matter of public record for several years. This is not news. We had worked diligently with the IRS to pay down our debt until we were financially destroyed by the politically motivated and corrupt Mueller investigation. The claim that my wife and I are living a lavish lifestyle is a laughable joke in view of the fact that we are virtually bankrupt. This is a clear sign that the smear campaign of ‘guilt by association’ to tie me baselessly to the illegal events of January 6th has failed.”
The new suit against Stone was “authorized and requested by the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service, a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, and is commenced at the direction of the Attorney General of the United States,” according to Christopher Coulson, an attorney in the Justice Department’s Tax Division, who signed the suit.
The Justice Department is asking a federal court to require the Stones to repay the nearly $2 million they owe, plus interest and any other “statutory additions.” It’s also seeking that the court declare that transfer of Stone’s residence to the Bertran Trust “fraudulent” and declare that the Roger and Nydia Stone remain the true owners of the property.
In the criminal case, a jury convicted Stone of all seven felony charges he faced. A judge sentenced him to nearly three-and-a-half years in prison.
However, just before Stone was scheduled to report to prison, President Donald Trump stepped in with a commutation even as Stone vowed to press on with his appeals. Just before Christmas, Stone received a full pardon from Trump.
Stone’s name has also arisen repeatedly in the ongoing prosecution of the Oath Keepers militia for breaching the Capitol on Jan. 6. Several of the leaders of the group charged in the attack were part of a security detail for Stone on Jan. 5 and 6 ahead of the Capitol breach. Stone has said he had no knowledge of their plans to march on, and enter, the Capitol.
Stone’s finances have long been a feature of his desperate fundraising emails. He’s described his net worth as having been decimated by his efforts to fight the criminal charges against him. He also said his move from a house to an apartment in 2019 was due to financial stress brought on by his indictment. He also cited threats and security concerns after his arrest and the SWAT-team raid on his home was widely publicized.