The lead singer of the Isley Brothers, Ronald Isley, has been sentenced to three years and a month in prison for tax evasion charges.
Isley, 65, was also ordered to pay $3.1 million in back taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, according to published reports. He had been convicted nearly a year ago on five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return, and sentencing has originally been set for this January.
The maximum sentence Isley faced was 26 years. Attorneys for the singer had argued that he should receive probation instead of prison time because of complications from a stroke and a recent bout with kidney cancer. Isley is expected to be sent to a prison hospital facility.
During Isley's trial, attorneys said that the R&B singer had been attempting to pay down his IRS debt, but a series of unfortunate events -- such as the deaths of two accountants -- prevented the singer from gathering records and paying his taxes during the years that led to the criminal charges.
Although no specific amounts were named, prosecutors said at trial that Isley failed to pay more than $300,000 in taxes in 2002 and received more than $12 million for performances between 1997 and 2002, but always demanded he be paid in cash to avoid paying taxes.
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