Longtime political operative and Donald Trump ally Roger Stone has been sued by the Department of Justice for alleged millions in unpaid federal income taxes.
The suit, filed Friday in federal court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says Stone and his wife, Nydia, used a limited liability corporation called Drake Ventures to “shield their personal income ... and fund a lavish lifestyle despite owing nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest and penalties.”
In January 2019, the couple used Drake Ventures funds to purchase a residence in Florida’s Broward County, and quietly registered it under a trust. According to the lawsuit, the couple was in “substantial debt” to the IRS at the time, and the trust purchase was allegedly a fraudulent strategy aimed at preventing the IRS from collecting taxes owed.
Stone vowed to fight the suit.
“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,” he said in a statement. “We had worked diligently with the IRS to pay down our debt until we were financially destroyed by the politically motivated and corrupt ... investigation” by former special counsel Robert Mueller.
Stone called the characterization that he and his wife have been enjoying a “lavish” lifestyle as “laughable.”
The Justice Department is asking the court to require the Stones to repay the nearly $2 million they owe, plus interest. It’s also wants the court to declare the transfer of Stone’s residence to the trust “fraudulent,” and that the Stones are the true owners of the property.
Stone, a longtime GOP political operative and confidant of the former president, served as Trump’s 2016 campaign adviser, and was major proponent of the “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was somehow stolen from Trump.
Stones actions leading up to the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 are reportedly being investigated by the FBI. Videos show Stone in the company of members of key extremist groups who stormed the building.
In a Washington rally a month before the storming of the Capitol, Stone, surrounded by members of the violent extremist Proud Boys, urged the crowd to “never give up and fight for America” — in other words, by overturning the democratic election. The night before the Capitol attack, Stone spoke at a Washington rally and called the conflict a battle between the “godly and the godless,” between “good and evil.”
On the day of the attack, Stone hung out with members of the extremist Oath Keepers militia before they stormed the Capitol.
Trump granted clemency to Stone and eventually pardoned him last year after he was convicted of seven felonies, including lying in congressional testimony and witness-tampering in the special counsel investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 election.