By Dan Christensen, FloridaBulldog.org
What is Fort Lauderdale’s Roger Stone trying to hide?
For 15 years, the IRS has been dunning ex-President Donald Trump’s political confidant and Stone’s wife, Nydia, for failing to pay assessed income taxes, penalties and interest for the years 2007-2011 and 2018 that now total a whopping $1,997,398.60.
In April 2021, the government finally sued to collect after Stone held them off for years by offering but not actually paying. And Roger’s been dodging ever since, offering vague answers to inquiries and failing to hand over financial records sought by the government, arguing the Justice Department already had that information from his accountant.
Justice’s tax division, of course, subpoenaed and obtained the accountant’s records. That they want to get their hands on Stone’s records, too, strongly suggests they think Stone provided false information to the accountant. If so, that would be a felony.
Court papers indicate that Stone’s attitude changed abruptly two weeks ago, three days after Fort Lauderdale U.S. District Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz II ordered he and his wife to fork over various documents and better answers to government interrogatories. That’s when the Stones’ lawyer, Brian R. Harris of Tampa, announced that the “Stone Defendants” had submitted a settlement offer that, “if accepted, will resolve all claims and issues in this case.”
No details of that settlement offer have been made public. The other Stone defendants are the Bertran Trust – a 2019 revocable trust in which Nydia is the sole grantor and trustee and she and the couple’s two children are the beneficiaries – and Drake Ventures, a Delaware company co-owned equally by the Stones.
WILL IRS ACCEPT STONE SETTLEMENT OFFER?
“The government alleges that the Stones, while owing over a million dollars in back taxes, used Drake Ventures as their alter ego to shield their assets” and “fund a lavish lifestyle,” say government documents. “The government further alleges that, in the face of impending litigation, the Stones fraudulently transferred funds to purchase the Stone residence, and that the Bertran Trust holds this residence as the Stones’ nominee.’’
The residence is on NE 18th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Broward property records say that Nydia Stone and Bertran Trust paid $525,000 for the residence on March 27, 2019.
The judge has given the government, represented by Justice’s tax division trial attorney Christopher Coulson, until July 8 to decide whether to accept the Stones’ settlement offer.
Settling a tax case with the Justice Department is no easy thing. The department has a 113-page manual devoted to the subject.
In cases involving “non-routine, sensitive, important or novel legal issues,” settlements must be approved by the Deputy Attorney General, currently Lisa O. Monaco. That description would appear to include the Stone tax case, given that it looks as though he’s a subject of the Justice’s ongoing criminal investigation of sedition and conspiracy arising out of the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol involving far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys with whom Stone been publicly linked.
WHERE’S THE MONEY COMING FROM?
Where will Stone get the money to pay off his large tax debt? Without a big discount from the feds, things don’t look promising.
A story three years ago in Money Inc. said Stone’s personal wealth was estimated at $5 million in 2018. “This was the result of his successful career in politics and as an author. Sadly, that is where [it] started going wrong for this man… Stone has said that the reason his finances have taken such a dive and he is now broke is because of the Mueller investigation into the interference in the 2016 election.” Stone’s net worth was then estimated at just $50,000.
Stone was convicted of seven felonies and sentenced to 40 months in prison, but in July 2020, days before Stone was to surrender, his old friend President Trump commuted his sentence. Trump later erased Stone’s felony convictions with a pardon.
Drake Ventures hauled in $266,000 in political consulting fees from five congressional candidates since April 2021. Three of Roger Stone/Drake Venture’s five far-right Republican clients have already gotten crushed in primaries – one, California’s Ronda Kennedy finished third in a nonpartisan primary behind a drag queen named Maebe A. Girl.
The other two Stone clients are Martin Hyde, the QAnon alternative to conservative incumbent Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, and Matt Gaetz, the Pensacola Republican congressman under investigation for possible sex trafficking (a charge he has denied) who was recently named in testimony before the House Jan. 6 Committee as being among a number of lawmakers who sought eleventh-hour pardons from President Trump.
LOBBYING FOR PARDONS FOR FELONS
Stone isn’t registered to lobby in Washington and is no longer a foreign agent. His company, Ikon Public Affairs, was working for the Secretary of Intelligence for Argentina in the early 2000s.
Still, Stone may have made money lobbying for pardons for felons. The Washington Post reported last month that newly released records by the National Archives to the Jan. 6 Committee “may include evidence” of Stone’s lobbying.
The story said that on Jan. 6, “as thousands gathered on the Ellipse just south of the White House,’’ Stone was involved in “helping felons get requests for pardons on Trump’s desk before he left office. Stone’s activity was part of a bustling market at the time, in which well-connected lobbyists, lawyers and others brokered large fees to seek clemency for their clients.
“In his Willard (hotel) suite, away from the camera but still wearing a mic, Stone spoke on the phone with a man representing someone named Henry. The man said they were ‘willing to pay up to $100,000,’ but stressed: ‘Everything would have to be legal.’
“ ‘Actually, it is legal,’ ” Stone said of such arrangements, accurately.
“ ‘If I didn’t have a really good chance to getting this done, I wouldn’t take the money,’ Stone said, claiming he was to meet officials involved in the process that evening. ‘I’m going to have a little bit of input into the final list,’ he said,” the story quoted Stone.
‘CONNECT WITH YOUR FAVORITE STAR’
If that doesn’t generate enough cash, Stone’s website hawks t-shirts, books, autographed rocks (stones) and MyPillows with a special discount from Trump pal, owner Mike Lindell. For $20, you can even buy a copy of his presidential pardon – signed by Stone.
Or if you want to just give Stone money for free, you can donate on site to the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund. Note the disclaimer: “Contributions are not deductible for federal income tax purposes. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all contributions to the Roger Stone Legal Defense Fund are considered gifts to Roger Stone.”
If Stone is desperate for cash, it seems most apparent in his online registration on Cameo, “where you can connect with your favorite stars.” Roger’s personalized video costs $100. A “meet me live” connection: $300. Or you can just send Roger a message for $3.
That approach seems aimed at the same kind of people who bought into Stone’s appearance in Myrtle Beach, SC last month as part of the Reawaken America Tour with pal former general, and Trump-pardoned ex-felon, Michael Flynn.
Here’s what Stone told a sold-out audience: “And yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is a Satanic portal above the White House. You can see it day and night. It exists. It is real. And it must be closed and it will be closed by prayer…It popped up after Joe Biden became president and it will be closed before he leaves.”
Stone’s speaker’s fee is not known.
RS / June 29, 2022 9:43 am
His finances have always seemed shady. He was only worth $50k after decades in Washington? and he claimed that when he worked for trump he did so for free? Just like Manafort? They did the highest profile gigs of their careers for free? Smells funny. Who paid him enough to rack up that tax bill? How does he buy all those nice suits and fancy dinners? And at times paid assistants? Offshore accounts? Russian money? Please stay on this. This is the guy whose brooks brothers riot turned the 2000 election and then gave us trump and whose fingerprints are all over the insurrection. Imagine if Al Gore had won in 2000- we’d have had action on climate change back then and none of Ws dumb wars. Roger stone is the worst most consequential person in American history. Think of what a nicer world we could have had without him.
Pingback: The real Deep State vs. Will Roger’s organized political party – that he didn’t belong to – lincolndemocrat.com / June 29, 2022 10:50 am
John Egan / June 29, 2022 5:01 pm
Well… Maybe he could sell the tattoo on his back of Richard Nixon as an NFT? Ha ha ha haaaaaa..
Steve Ellman / June 30, 2022 1:27 am
Good reporting, Dan.
My schadenfreude runneth over.
I am curious about Stone’s work for the Argentine intelligence agency. Torture involved?
Pingback: The Perfect Enemy | Florida’s Democratic primary for governor stumbles onward / June 30, 2022 7:10 am
Anonymouses / July 3, 2022 2:16 am
Great reporting. I sure hope democracy survives Trump and Stone.
Elisha / July 12, 2022 3:32 am
I happen to know him personally, and the way you just presented that information is the most biased, deceptive and cruel manipulation. What a disgrace. No wonder nobody trusts you except this handful of sheep. Wake up, they’re trying to warn you and you side with the GOVERNMENT? God help you, seriously, because all we are to do is wait and you will see how dangerously wrong you were to hand over your freedoms because people who are paid LOTS OF MONEY to manipulate and frighten you, have succeeded in such a shocking and brazen way, you will lose America, you will lose your freedom to write what you think, say what you think, or even lie like the guy who wrote this “article”. You will answer to the State and they will own you. The unfortunate part is, all Stone or Trump or Flynn are doing is trying to warn you all and you won’t even look. You just read one sided stories like this and believe it. Make absurd accusations when you really do know nothing of what is REALLY happening. No worries, we’ll wait, you’ll see…hopefully not too late. Because then we will all be slaves to a system that gives not one shit about equality, or your rights. They tell you that so you think you’re fighting a righteous cause when you are walking into gas chambers. Again, God help you…God help us all, because your foolishness will also take down those who are bravely fighting a GIANT SYSTEM. It’s easy for you to sit here and comment some dumb insult or write twisted stories so you can feel virtuous and better than others…equality? What a joke. You know nothing…but you will. You mock Stone for asking for donations and yet your own donation button is right below here. Shocking hypocrisy. And you keep doing it because “your side” … there are no sides btw, both Rep & Dems are in it together. Trump, hate him or love him, exposed so much of the corruption by simply being there, he didn’t even mean to, he just wasn’t meant to win, they didn’t think they needed to cheat so much because no way Trump would get in, but he did. They’ve cheated in elections for decades, the parties take turns, they launder your tax money through countries like Ukraine, pretending they’re fighting Putin when he’s in on it. And the poor Ukrainians SUFFER due to the collaboration of greedy world leaders, ALL MEMBERS OF THE WEF. Just go listen to them speak. Klaus and Yuval have great plans for you, you just won’t find them so great when you find out the price. Genetic editing…that THEY control. It’s not a conspiracy, you can go listen to them say it yourself. Go look, and try to think too please, for yourself.
Marleen / July 20, 2022 11:35 pm
Just wondering how many readers have read Stone’s book on JFK’s assassination. Maybe some of you should give it a try before youmake your decision about him or post such critical remarks. It will open your eyes to what really goes on behind the scenes in the world of politics.
Ron Spurga / October 16, 2022 5:22 pm
Stone was Trump’s bagman on Trump’s sale of US nuclear secrets to Putin.
The stolen documents are in Stone’s condo in Fort Lauderdale. Stone was recruited by Putin’s KGB when Stone was working for Nixon.
Pictures of the money transfers from Putin to Stone are posted to my blog: ronspurganyc.com