Former Texas state official pleads guilty to tax evasion | Takeover bid

A former member of the Texas House of Representatives pleaded guilty today to evading payment of taxes he owed to the IRS. The plea was entered before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Hightower.

According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately May 2011 to October 2019, Ronald Ray Wilson, formerly of Austin, deliberately attempted to evade payment of income tax he owed to the ‘IRS. From 1977 to 2004, Wilson was elected as a member of the Texas House of Representatives. In 1995, he also created a law firm, Ron Wilson & Associates. After leaving the Texas House of Representatives, Wilson earned a monthly pension from his service and continued to work as a lawyer.

In September 2008 and February 2011, Wilson accepted two U.S. Tax Court rulings finding he owed unpaid taxes to the IRS. After stipulating these court rulings, Wilson took steps to conceal his income and assets from the IRS to avoid payment of outstanding taxes. Specifically, Wilson used his law firm’s trust account—which was limited to holding client funds—to conceal his personal assets by depositing his monthly salary into that account. Additionally, to avoid an IRS levy on his personal bank account, Wilson stopped direct depositing his monthly House of Representatives pension and instead ensured that he would receive physical checks. He deposited some of those checks into accounts owned by a trust of which he was the trustee, then converted the deposited funds into cashier’s checks for his own use. In total, Wilson caused a tax loss to the IRS of approximately $794,632.

Wilson is expected to be sentenced at a later date and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. He also faces a period of supervised release, restitution and financial penalties. A federal district court judge will first accept Wilson’s guilty plea and then determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.

Acting Assistant Deputy Attorney General Stuart M. Goldberg of the Justice Department’s Taxation Division made the announcement.

IRS-Criminal Investigation is investigating the case.

Deputy Chief David Zisserson and Tax Division District Attorney Ashley Stein are pursuing the case.

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