Singer and songwriter Ronald Isley has been indicted on tax evasion charges for failing to report income that 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 last week by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. The indictment 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 paying income taxes by depositing and using for his own benefit royalty checks issued to other Isley Brothers-related entities and persons, including his deceased brother O'Kelly Isley.
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 charges, Isley paid his musicians and performers in cash, making it difficult to determine how much cash he kept from the upfront fee. The balance of the tour performance fees were generally deposited into a bank account in the name of Isley Brothers Music Corp. In some instances, Isley allegedly directed his booking agent to send a portion of the tour performance fees directly to third parties for his own benefit.
The IRS said that Isley made personal expenditures and paid his personal living expenses from the numerous bank accounts that he controlled, including the accounts into which his income from tour and music royalty receipts were deposited. He used the money to, among other things, pay for his yacht and a monthly mortgage payment of roughly $13,000, and to purchase a $1.8 million house in St. Louis in 1997 and a 100-acre country estate in Missouri for approximately $1 million.
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