Former taxman first got caught being a corrupt revenue agent. Now, he’s spending jail time for trying to cheat the same IRS that once gave him the authority to audit taxpayers. Beware: If they caught him, they can catch you.
Cheating on your taxes? Maybe thinking about it?
Let the tale of former taxman Ronald C. Heidel be a lesson to you.
In the mid-’70s, Heidel went to work for the Internal Revenue Service. He was the dreaded auditor, the G-man who showed up at your door with bad news: You’ve been audited.
But as it turned out, Heidel wasn’t the average auditor.
According to court records, Heidel was a double IRS agent, so to speak.
In 1983, he was convicted on two charges of accepting monetary compensation from a company during his tenure as an IRS agent and filing a false corporate tax return on behalf of a company he had audited during his service with the IRS.
So what does a disgraced IRS agent do?
Buy a strip club, of course.
In March 1999, Heidel purchased the Gentlemen’s Gold Club, a restaurant and bar in Baltimore County that also featured entertainment by exotic dancers.
That’s when Heidel began to play fast and loose with the books – and American tax dollars.
Federal prosecutors alleged Heidel made false statements to the government on his 2001 tax return, declaring significantly less income than he actually received.
And how did Heidel allegedly hide the income? With cash.
Unlike other business, strip clubs operates almost entirely as cash enterprises. Heidel’s was no exception.
From May 3, 1999, and Dec. 27, 2001, Heidel deposited $1.467 million in cash derived in part from the operations of the club into various personal bank accounts rather than the company’s bank accounts. Many of these cash deposits were between $7,000 and $9,000, just below the $10,000 limit required to alert the IRS. And so since the IRS didn’t officially know about the cash deposits, Heidel didn’t volunteer the information on his and his wife’s joint tax return.
But the law finally caught up with Heidel, a 60-year-old who now lives in Sanibel, Fla., on the Sunshine State’s Gulf Coast.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison to be followed by one year of supervised release. Heidel was also fined $30,000 and ordered to pay $135,236 in restitution to the IRS.
For taxpayers thinking about fudging their tax returns or for those who are actively participating in a scheme to defraud the IRS, Heidel’s story should be a cautionary tale.
They got him – a guy who knows the internal operations and procedures of the IRS.
If you’re cheating on your taxes, they’ll eventually get you too.