By Terry Lehrke, News Editor
Roger Martin Pedley, owner of Pine Ridge Golf Club and Ridge Rib and Steak House in Motley, was charged with tax evasion April 9, by prosecutors in the Federal District Court of Minnesota.
A press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Pedley was indicted for evading taxes from 2000-2009 and for knowingly structuring his financial transactions to evade federal reporting requirements. He was charged with four counts of tax evasion, six counts of structuring cash transactions and two counts of making false statements to a federal agent.
The criminal complaint, in addressing the structuring of financial transactions, said Pedley had accounts at eight financial institutions, including institutions in Randall, Staples, Little Falls, Wadena, Nisswa, Litchfield, all in Minnesota and a bank in Omaha, Neb.
It alleges that between May 31, 2006 and June 30, 2009, out of 114 cash transactions for less than $10,000 each, approximately 94 of the transactions were in the amount of $9,900.
The allegations of tax evasion state that in each of the calendar years from 2006 – 2009, Pedley and his wife, Marge, had substantial income on which income tax was owed, as well as significant income in cash from their business, and that during the years 2006 – 2009, the cash in the structured financial transactions was not reported as income on their tax return.
According to the criminal complaint, the Pedleys claimed taxable income as less than what they allegedly earned, as follows: 2006 – claimed $121,695 as taxable income, but had taxable income of more than $200,000; 2007 – claimed $156,003 as taxable income, but had taxable income of more than $400,000; 2008 – claimed $193,489 in taxable income, but had taxable income of more than $590,000; and for 2009 – claimed $325,921 in taxable income, but had taxable income of more than $600,000.
The complaint said Pedley attempted to evade a large part of the income tax due by making false statements to IRS agents regarding cash given to him by a relative; that a banker he had done business with counseled him on how to structure his cash transactions; and by destroying source financial documents.
Cash transactions at a financial institution in amounts of more than $10,000 made by an individual in a single day, as well as multiple transactions in a single day that total more than $10,000 by an individual, are required to be reported by the financial institution to the U.S. Department of the Treasury on a form called a “Currency Transaction Report.”
Each of the financial institutions was subject to this reporting and the criminal complaint states that Pedley knew of the reporting requirement.
The complaint alleges that when Pedley had accumulated a sufficient quantity of cash, the cash was negotiated at financial institutions in structured transactions of less than $10,000 each. These under-$10,000 cash transactions began about September 2004 and continued until about June 2009.
The complaint lists several years where the transactions amounted to more than $100,000 in a 12-month period.
The complaint said Pedley’s financial books of account for the Pine Ridge Golf Course were handwritten in spiral notebooks and that he told a special agent of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigation Division, that he had destroyed the documents that were the source of the data in the notebooks, such as cash register receipts.
The case is being prosecuted by U.S. Attorney John Docherty.
Pedley declined to comment or to indicate who was representing him.