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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Former NASCAR team owner faces tax evasion charges

A former NASCAR team owner faces federal tax evasion charges.

A grand jury indicted Ronald Devine, 67, of Burke, Virginia, with four counts of failure to pay payroll taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte.

Devine was the owner and president of BK Racing, which operated a NASCAR racing team and owned two NASCAR charters. Devine exercised control over BK Racing’s financial affairs, including having sole signature authority and control over BK Racing’s bank accounts, directing and authorizing payment of BK Racing’s bills, and authorizing the filing and payment of BK Racing’s trust fund taxes, commonly referred to as payroll taxes, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The indictment alleges that, starting in 2012, Devine caused BK Racing to fail to account for and pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes. For example, according to the indictment, in 2017, Devine allegedly failed to pay over more than $390,000 in payroll taxes owed to the IRS.

The indictment also alleges that, between 2012 and 2017, instead of using the funds held in trust to pay for payroll taxes due, Devine transferred more than $2 million to other businesses and entities that he owned and controlled and used some of the funds to pay for BK Racing’s expenses such as rent, utilities and vendor bills.

Devine will have his initial appearance in federal court in Charlotte. The charge of failure to truthfully account for and pay over trust fund taxes carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the four counts in the indictment.

Payroll taxes are withheld from employees’ gross pay and are used by the government to fund Social Security and Medicare, and also include the income taxes withheld from the employees’ paychecks.

BK Racing field multiple Cup Series cars from 2012 to 2018 while owned by Devine.

He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 and in 2022 a judge ordered him, as well as associated companies and trusts, to pay $31 million to the trustee handling the bankruptcy proceedings, according to Fox Sports. A judge in the proceedings rule Devine did not comply with discovery procedures of financial disclosures, leading to the trustee being awarded the full amount and subsequent penalties.

Devine could not be reached for comment.

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