FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
THURSDAY - June 12, 2008
DURHAM MAN ENTERS GUILTY PLEA TO TAX EVASION
RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that RONALD CRUICKSHANK, pled guilty in federal court in Raleigh, North Carolina, today pursuant to a plea agreement. Chief United States District Judge Louise W. Flanagan accepted CRUICKSHANK’S plea of guilty to three counts of tax evasion relating to his 2001, 2003, and 2004 tax years.
CRUICKSHANK, 60, previously from Durham, North Carolina, could receive a maximum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment, a fine of $750,000, and three years of supervised release. His actual sentence will be determined by the court using the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are advisory. Sentencing has been set for the Court’s September 2008 criminal trial docket.
As noted by the Government during the plea hearing, in 2001 CRUICKSHANK worked as an executive at a Raleigh advertising company named Howard Merrill Partners. CRUICKSHANK received $297,132 in taxable income during this tax year. In 2003, CRUICKSHANK received taxable income of $256,668 in connection with his job at Howard Merrill and as the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of a sock manufacturer named Thor Lo Inc. In 2004, CRUICKSHANK received taxable income of $401,658.69 from his job as CEO of Thor Lo Inc. and other investments. CRUICKSHANK admitted that rather than paying income taxes on such income he took affirmative acts to conceal his income from the Internal Revenue Service, including, having his salary paid to nominee trusts, opening bank accounts for such trusts under the name of his mother-in-law, depositing his paychecks into such bank accounts, and then using the money in such bank accounts to pay his personal expenses.
United States Attorney Holding said, “Our office is committed to enforcing tax laws so that people are not allowed to flout their obligation thereby putting more burden on law-abiding citizens.”
Acting Special Agent in Charge, Betty N. Stewart, said, “Tax evasion is not a victimless crime. Honest, hardworking Americans pay the price when others choose to evade their tax obligations.”
The criminal investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division. Assistant United States Attorney Dennis M. Duffy is prosecuting the case for the United States.
News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.