LOS ANGELES LAWFUEL – Law, tax, legal, law firm, attorney, criminal news— Singer and songwriter Ronald Isley has been indicted on tax evasion charges for allegedly failing to report income he received from performances and royalties as a member of the renowned Isley Brothers.
Isley, 63, who maintains residences in Los Angeles and St. Louis, was named in a six-count indictment returned yesterday afternoon by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. The indictment specifically charges him with five counts of tax evasion and one-count of failing to file an income tax return, charges that carry a maximum penalty of 26 years in federal prison.
The indictment alleges that 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 allegedly 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, the indictment alleges, 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. In some instances, Isley allegedly directed his booking agent to send a portion of the tour performance fees directly to third parties for Isley’s benefit.
From the numerous bank accounts that he controlled, including the accounts into which his income from tour and music royalty receipts were deposited, Isley allegedly made personal expenditures and paid his personal living expenses. Isley allegedly used these monies to, among other things, pay for his yacht, the Entrepreneur, whose monthly mortgage payment was approximately $13,000; purchase a $1.8 million house in St. Louis in 1997; and purchase a 100-acre country estate in Missouri for approximately $1 million.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
IRS-Criminal Investigation Division Special Agent-in-Charge Michael S. Kochmanski said, “An extensive financial investigation resulted in today’s indictment that alleges the defendant of evading income taxes. No matter the occupation, the tax bracket, or the income level, everyone is expected to pay their fair share of taxes.”
This case is a result of an investigation by the Los Angeles Field Office of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division.
CONTACT: Assistant United States Attorney Robert F. Conte
Assistant United States Attorney Thomas D. Coker