LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – A federal jury in Los Angeles today convicted singer-songwriter Ronald Isley of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return for concealing millions of dollars of income from the Internal Revenue Service.
Isley, 64, who has residences in Los Angeles and St. Louis, was convicted by a jury that deliberated for three hours.
During a three-week trial with almost 20 witnesses, federal prosecutors showed that Isley received millions of dollars in cash and spent his money on a luxurious lifestyle. From 1997 through 2002, the evidence showed, Isley evaded the payment of more than $3 million in federal income taxes.
Isley evaded the payment of income taxes in a variety of ways, including depositing and using for his own benefit royalty checks that were issued to other Isley Brothers-related entities and persons, including Okelly Isley, Isley’s deceased brother. Isley also required that one-half of the guaranteed fee for each tour date be delivered to him in cash on the date of the performance. While on tour, Isley paid his musicians and performers in cash, making it difficult to determine how much cash Isley retained from the up-front fee. The balance of the tour performance fees were generally deposited into a bank account in the name of Isley Brothers Music Corporation. The prosecutors argued to the jury that Isley created a vast web of bank accounts and shell companies that he used to conceal his income.
Isley is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Dean D. Pregerson on January 9. At sentencing, Isley faces a maximum possible sentence of 26 years in federal prison.
This case was investigated by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Robert F. Conte