Roger Stone sued by federal government for nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes and interest

Roger Stone, longtime political ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for a status hearing in the criminal case against him brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Robertsle
Roger Stone.

  • GOP strategist and Trump ally Roger Stone and his wife were sued by the federal government for $2 million in unpaid taxes.
  • The complaint accused the couple of using their company to avoid paying personal income tax.
  • Stone was indicted in 2019 on several charges connected to the Mueller investigation on Russian interference in the 2020 election. He was later pardoned by Trump.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former GOP strategist Roger Stone was sued Friday by the federal government for nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties.

The complaint was filed Friday against Stone and his wife Nydia Stone to collect unpaid federal income tax liabilities for nearly $1.6 million between the years 2007 through 2011, as well as more than $400,000 in 2018, according to court documents.

The suit, which is not an accusation of criminality, was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Stone was indicted on several felonies in January 2019 – including making false statements to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering – in connection with the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Former President Donald Trump commuted Stone’s 40-month prison sentence in July last year, then later granted Stone a full pardon on the felony charges in December 2020.

According to the complaint, the Stones used a company they owned called Drake Ventures to pay their federal taxes. After Stone was indicted in January 2019, they opened a trust through the company to help them purchase their residence in Florida, which has no state income taxes.

“Although they used funds held in Drake Ventures accounts to pay some of their taxes, the Stones’ use of Drake Ventures to hold their funds allowed them to shield their personal income from enforced collection and fund a lavish lifestyle despite owing nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes, interest, and penalties,” the complaint read.

The Stones failed to pay their $20,000 monthly installment payment to the IRS in March 2019, according to the complaint, causing the agency to terminate its installment agreement, according to the lawsuit.

“The Stones intended to defraud the United States by maintaining their assets in Drake Ventures’ accounts, which they completely controlled, and using these assets to purchase the Stone Residence in the name of the Bertran Trust,” according to the complaint.

In a statement to CNN, Stone called the complaint “preposterous.”

“They are well aware that my two-year struggle against the epically corrupt Mueller investigation has left my wife and I on the verge of bankruptcy,” Stone said in the statement. “I have continued to eke out a living through my company Drake Ventures.”

“To describe my current lifestyle as ‘lavish’ will be proved to be ridiculous in court. The political motivation of the DOJ Will be abundantly clear at trial,” he continued.

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From a golden statue to Trump hinting at a third presidential run, here are some striking moments from CPAC

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • GOP lawmakers and supporters flocked to the Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend.
  • CPAC this year was marked by an allegiance to Trump and an expectation that he will remain influential.
  • Here are the most striking — and the weirdest — moments of the four-day event.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

GOP lawmakers and supporters convened for the annual Conservative Political Action Conference this weekend, where they praised former President Donald Trump, mocked masks, and promoted illegitimate claims of voter fraud.

Some, like Donald Trump Jr., used his stage power to rally the crowd against Big Tech and the mainstream media. Among his targets was Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the third highest-ranking Republican in the House who voted to impeach Trump last month.

The conference, running from February 25 to 28, teemed with top GOP leaders from all over the United States, most of whom largely stood by the twice-impeached former president. 

CPAC marks Trump’s first public appearance since leaving office, as he was the headlining guest of the conference.

Here are some of the most striking moments of this year’s CPAC:

There was a golden statue of Trump.

Trump statue CPAC 2021
People take a picture with former President Donald Trump’s statue on display at CPAC.

Standing at more than 6 feet tall, the statue was unveiled late Thursday. It’s a golden structure resembling Trump, with a suit jacket, red tie American-flag shorts, and flip-flops.

Attendees posed with and took pictures of the statue.

The artist behind it, Tommy Zegan, said he spent six months making the statue in Mexico.

“He’s wearing a business suit because he’s a businessman. The red tie represents the Republican party, the red white and blue shorts represent the fact that he’s a patriot,” Zegan told the New York Post

Zegan said he hopes to sell it for more than $1 million or submit it to a Trump presidential library in the future.

And Trump merch for sale everywhere.

Trump merch at CPAC
Various items are seen on sale at the merchandise show at CPAC on Saturday.

Trump, despite leaving office more than a month ago with the inauguration of President Joe Biden, was a focal point of the GOP conference. 

Attendees came dressed in Trump gear, and speakers alluded to or explicitly referred to his hold on the Republican party. 

“Let me tell you right now, Donald J. Trump ain’t going anywhere,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Friday to a crowd. 

Trump, for his part, has embraced the idea that he maintains a strong influence in the party. He’s floated several possibilities to remain relevant in politics, such as a potential 2024 presidential run and the formation of a political action committee. His support from top GOP lawmakers indicates that Trump, while out of office, still maintains deep influence in GOP politics. 

Gov. Kristi Noem defended coronavirus handling in South Dakota.

Kristi Noem at CPAC
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem.

Noem has frequently flouted coronavirus guidelines that have since become regular and expected in dozens of states across the country. 

On Saturday, she slammed Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading coronavirus expert, while defending her own policies that go against guidelines from health officials. 

“I don’t know if you agree with me, but Dr. Fauci is wrong a lot,” Noem said, receiving applause from the CPAC crowd.

For months, Noem has refused to issue a statewide mask mandate in South Dakota, even as the state earned a reputation as one of the 10 most dangerous when its COVID test positivity rate neared 60% in November.

And despite having the 6th smallest population in the country, South Dakota has the second-highest overall rate of coronavirus cases. The only state that beat out South Dakota is North Dakota.

Roger Stone danced to a rap about Trump.

Roger stone
Roger Stone dances with rapper Forgiato Blow as he arrives for CPAC.

Convicted felon Stone danced outside the Hyatt Regency in Orlando, Florida.

He arrived at the event without a ticket and began to dance on the sidewalk next to Forgiato Blow, a rapper who’s been described as “Trump-loving” by hip-hop outlets. 

Forgiato Blow was at the time rapping about Trump winning the election, which did not happen. 

The two were standing by and dancing near a truck featuring a giant image of Trump in the style of “Rambo” with an assault weapon.  

And he signed autographs.

Roger Stone autographs CPAC
Roger Stone signing an autograph at CPAC.

Stone also posed for pics with onlookers and Trump supporters. 

Conference organizers did not let him to the event since he didn’t have a ticket.

Trump in December pardoned Stone, who was found guilty of seven felonies last year in relation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Mask-less attendees made up the crowd.

maskless people at CPAC
People listen as Don Trump, Jr. addresses the CPAC crowd on February 26, 2021, in Orlando, Florida.

Though many attendees wore masks, many others did not. 

And when a CPAC organizer urged the audience to wear a mask, she was met with resistance.

“We are in a private facility and we want to be respectful of the ordinances that they have as their private property, so please, everyone when you’re in the ballroom, when you’re seated, you should still be wearing a mask,” said CPAC organizer Carly Conley.

Attendees shouted “freedom” and booed at the directive.  

It’s been almost a year since the WHO declared the coronavirus a pandemic. Since then, more than 28 million people in the United States have contracted the virus, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that, more than 500,000 Americans have died

Many of the speakers who got on stage, which included a wide array of top GOP politicians, did not wear masks. 

Mask-wearing for months has been one of the guidelines that various health agencies have touted as most effective for preventing the spread of the coronavirus in public spaces.

Ted Cruz mocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Ted Cruz at CPAC
Ted Cruz addressing the crowd at CPAC.

Cruz appeared to make fun of Ocasio-Cortez for her response to the January 6 Capitol riot. 

“I thought I was going to die,” Ocasio-Cortez said after the insurrection.

“We’re gathered at a time where the hard left, where the socialists control the levers of government, where they control the White House, where they control every executive branch, where they control both houses of Congress. Bernie is wearing mittens, and AOC is telling us she was murdered,” Cruz said. 

His remarks about her come just days after she raised millions for Texans who were suffering after a storm knocked out power.

During that storm, Cruz fled to Cancún.

A woman advertises a book of Trump’s tweets.

Woman Trump tweets CPAC
A woman shows a publicity of the book “Just the Tweets.”

A woman walked around dressed as a giant book titled, “Just the Tweets,” an advertisement for a book containing the former president’s tweets from his first year in office.

Trump was banned from Twitter in January because of his potential to incite further violence following the deadly siege on the US Capitol, during which five people died.

Immediately following Twitter’s permanent suspension of Trump, top conservatives began sharing their Parler accounts on the platform, encouraging their followers to gravitate there. 

The former president was infuriated when he learned he was ban. A senior administration official told Politico that Trump went “ballistic.” Shortly after Twitter removed his @realDonaldTrump account, the president tweeted from the official @POTUS and @TeamTrump handles. But Twitter immediately deleted those posts as well. 

“Do you miss me yet?”

ORLANDO, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 28: Former President Donald Trump embraces the American flag as he arrives on stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. Begun in 1974, CPAC brings together conservative organizations, activists, and world leaders to discuss issues important to them. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump embraces the American flag as he arrives on stage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Former President Trump began his closing remarks by asking a cheering crowd, “Do you miss me yet? Do you miss me?”

Trump, who was expected to speak on the unity of the GOP, said “For the next four years, the brave Republicans in this room will be at the heart of the effort to oppose the radical Democrats, the fake news media and their toxic cancel culture — something new to our ears … and I want you to know that I’m going to continue to fight right by your side.”

“We’re not starting new parties. You know, they kept saying, ‘he’s going to start a brand new party. We have the Republican. It’s going to unite and be stronger than ever before. I am not starting a new party. That was fake news.”

“Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Let’s start a new party. Let’s divide our vote so that you can never win. No, we’re not interested in that.”

He spent most of his remarks railing against the Biden administration’s immigration policies, executive orders, and COVID-19 response, particularly around vaccines and school reopenings.

“This alone should be reason enough for Democrats to suffer withering losses in the midterms and to lose the White House decisively four years from now,” Trump said, setting off a chant of “USA, USA, USA.”

“Actually, as you know, they just lost the white house,” he added, maintaining the false claim that he won in 2020. “But who knows … I might even decide to beat them for a third time.”

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A video from CPAC captures Roger Stone showing off his dance moves to a Trump rap hailing Capitol insurrectionists as ‘patriots’

Roger stone
Roger Stone dances with rapper Forgiato Blow as he arrives for the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 27, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

  • A video shows Roger Stone dancing along to a hip-hop song at CPAC in Florida on Saturday.
  • Wearing his trademark sunglasses, Stone dances to a song calling the Capitol rioters “patriots.”
  • He is playing backup dancer to local Florida rapper and Trump supporter, Forgiato Blow.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Longtime Trump advisor Roger Stone was spotted dancing along to a Trump-inspired rap at the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, on Saturday. 

In a video posted to Twitter by Daily Caller reporter Jorge Ventura, Stone can be seen playing backup dancer to local Florida rapper Forgiato Blow, known for his support of Former President Donald Trump.

Wearing his trademark black glasses, French cuffs, and suspenders, Stone, 68, bops along to the hip-hop song, which describes the January 6 rioters as “patriots pulling up, knocking at the Capitol.” 

“Trump 2021, yeah, he had it in the bag. I just got a call from General Flynn. Yeah, he told me the facts, ” Blow sings in the video. “Democrats, you gonna tell me how you feelin’ about that? Who won? Trump won. Who Won? Trump Won! Watermark the baddest, 45 the chosen one.”

“Fed did a sweep. Patriots be pulling up, knocking on the Capitol,” the lyrics continued.

Watch the moment below:

 

Later, Stone answered questions about his alleged involvement in the deadly Capitol insurrection on January 6. Trump’s longtime ally was filmed in Washington DC with members of the Oath Keepers militia group hours before the riot.

Earlier this month, the Justice Department and FBI said they would launch an investigation into far-right figures – including Stone and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones – and their role in the riot.

The investigation does not mean that the men will face criminal charges, people familiar with the case told The Washington Post, which first reported the story. 

When asked about the investigation, Stone told reporters at CPAC: “Any honest investigation proves that there was no evidence whatsoever that I was either involved in or knew about this stupid, senseless, counterproductive, illegal assault on the Capitol,” according to CNN.

“Folks who did invade the Capitols should be prosecuted,” he added.

Stone also told Fox News that he would back Trump if the former president launches another campaign for 2024.

Trump is expected to speak at the event on Sunday, in what will be his first public appearance since leaving the White House last month. 

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The Justice Department and FBI are investigating whether Roger Stone and Alex Jones played a role in the Capitol siege, report says

roger stone alex jones rally trump
Roger Stone, left, and Alex Jones, right, spoke at pro-Trump rallies ahead of the Capitol siege on January 6, 2021.

  • Right-wing influencers are being investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department, according to The Washington Post.
  • Investigators are exploring possible ties between Alex Jones, Roger Stone, and the insurrectionists.
  • The investigation wants to understand what the rioters were thinking when they ransacked the US Capitol.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

The Justice Department and FBI are looking into whether Roger Stone and Alex Jones played a role in the deadly insurrection on January 6, according to The Washington Post.

The right-wing influencers and ‘Stop the Steal’ organizer Ali Alexander, are being investigated to help gain a greater understanding of what inspired the rioters to ransack the US Capitol building, The Post reported.

Investigators intend to explore whether there is a link between those who stormed the Capitol and those who may have influenced them by promoting election fraud conspiracy theories, the paper said.

The investigation does not necessarily mean that the men will face criminal charges, people familiar with the case told The Post. 

“We are investigating potential ties between those physically involved in the attack on the Capitol and individuals who may have influenced them, such as Roger Stone, Alex Jones, and [Stop the Steal organizer] Ali Alexander,” an unnamed US official told the paper.

All three men made unsubstantiated claims of election fraud in the lead-up to the Capitol siege.

On one occasion, Stone baselessly claimed that North Korea had interfered in the presidential election by shipping in ballots through Maine ports.

The longtime friend of former President Donald Trump also spoke at a rally in front of the Supreme Court the day before the insurrection. He was reportedly flanked by extremists who later stormed the Capitol.

Jones, who also gave a speech at this event, posted a video on his website InfoWars.com of him telling a crowd: “We have only begun to resist the globalists. We have only begun our fight against their tyranny. They have tried to steal this election in front of everyone.”

He has publicly stated that his media company funded the Stop the Steal rally–  the precursor to the Capitol siege.

Alexander, who is also said to be under investigation, helped organize several rallies that preceded the insurrection.

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Trump grants a full pardon to Republican strategist Roger Stone, who was convicted of 7 felonies

Roger Stone, longtime political ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, arrives for a status hearing in the criminal case against him brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller at U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Robertsle
Roger Stone.

  • President Donald Trump granted a full pardon on Wednesday to the longtime Republican strategist Roger Stone.
  • Stone was convicted of multiple felonies last year, including making false statements, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering.
  • His pardon is the latest in a series of executive clemency grants Trump has doled out to friends and allies in the waning weeks of his presidency.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump granted a full pardon on Wednesday to the Republican strategist and convicted felon Roger Stone.

A jury found Stone guilty last year of seven felonies, including making false statements, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice in connection with the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

The charging document against Stone contained a slew of details about Stone’s false statements to Congress about his interactions involving WikiLeaks; about his extensive communications with the far-right commentator Jerome Corsi and the radio host Randy Credico about WikiLeaks’ document dumps in summer 2016; and about his prolonged efforts to prevent Credico from testifying to Congress or turning over information to the FBI.

The five false statements counts the jury convicted Stone on were related to his testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in September 2017. Making false statements to Congress is its own crime, but the indictment against Stone said his misleading testimony to lawmakers contributed to the deliberate obstruction of ongoing investigations by the FBI and the House and Senate intelligence committees.

The president commuted Stone’s sentence in July, and his pardon this week is the latest in the series of executive clemency grants Trump has doled out to friends and allies before he leaves office in January.

On Wednesday, the White House also announced that Trump had pardoned his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, who was convicted of eight counts of tax fraud, bank fraud, and failure to report foreign bank accounts as part of Mueller’s probe. Manafort later pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction and one count of conspiracy, and he has since spent nearly two years in prison after being sentenced to 7 1/2 years.

The president also granted a pardon to Charles Kushner, a real-estate businessman and the father of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The elder Kushner pleaded guilty in 2005 to 16 counts of tax evasion, one count of retaliating against a federal witness, and one count of lying to the Federal Election Commission.

Overall, the president pardoned 26 people on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Trump granted full pardons to two other associates ensnared in the Mueller probe, George Papadopoulos and Alex van der Zwaan. Both men pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI.

The president also granted pardons or commuted the sentences of 18 others on Tuesday, including four former Blackwater guards who were convicted in connection to the massacre of 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007, three former Republican congressmen who were convicted of or pleaded guilty to multiple felonies, and two former Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting and wounding an unarmed undocumented immigrant in 2006.

Last month, Trump pardoned former national security advisor Michael Flynn, who in December 2017 admitted to lying to the FBI.

Axios recently reported that Trump plans to issue a wave of new pardons before leaving office and that he has offered pardons to people “like Christmas gifts,” including to those who did not ask for them and do not want to be pardoned. One source told the news website that Trump said he would pardon “every person who ever talked to me.”

The New York Times reported that Trump is considering granting pre-emptive pardons to his three eldest children, Jared Kushner, and his personal defense lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

The Constitution grants the president extraordinarily broad powers to grant pardons and commutations. But Trump has drawn scrutiny for circumventing the lengthy legal and ethical review process at the Justice Department that typically goes into determining who should be granted executive clemency.

Although the president has granted fewer pardons and commutations than his predecessors, the Harvard Law School professor Jack Goldsmith determined that the vast majority of pardons Trump has dished out have gone to his friends and political loyalists.

Trump has even floated the notion of pardoning himself before leaving office, which would put the US in uncharted territory because the question of whether a sitting president can pardon himself has never been tested.

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