The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Roger Stone owes nearly $2 million in unpaid taxes and fees, Justice Dept. alleges in lawsuit

Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, departs a Washington courthouse during his 2019 criminal trial.
Roger Stone, former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, departs a Washington courthouse during his 2019 criminal trial. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)
Placeholder while article actions load

The U.S. government filed a lawsuit Friday against Roger Stone, claiming he owes the Internal Revenue Service almost
$2 million in unpaid tax bills stretching back more than a
decade — another legal blow for the political consultant convicted of obstructing Congress and later pardoned by his longtime friend, President Donald Trump.

The Justice Department lawsuit was filed in federal court in Florida and argues that Stone’s tax problems stretch back to 2007, when a $205,410 tax bill mushroomed with interest and late fees to a bill of nearly half a million dollars.

The lawsuit alleges that Stone and his wife, Nydia Stone, used a trust and a company to try to improperly shield their assets from tax collectors while they continued to live a lavish lifestyle.

In an emailed statement, Stone called the tax case “politically motivated” and said he would fight it.

Just days after Roger Stone received a full-sentence commutation, the GOP political operative did an exclusive TV interview with Fox News on July 13, 2020. (Video: The Washington Post)

“That my wife and I owe a significant amount in federal taxes has been a matter of public record for several years. This is not news,” said Stone, who addded that he and his wife were “financially destroyed” by the legal costs surrounding his trial, and are now “virtually bankrupt.” The new case, he said, “is motivated by blood lust and liberal hysteria.”

Trump pardons Charles Kushner, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone in latest wave of clemency grants

In early 2019, as Stone faced a criminal indictment accusing him of lying to Congress about his actions on behalf of Trump’s 2016 campaign, the Stones used money from a company they controlled to purchase a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., condominium for a trust they controlled, according to the lawsuit.

“The Stones were in substantial debt to the United States at the time of the transfer, rendering them insolvent at the time of the transfer and unable to pay their debt to the United States,” the filing alleges. Up to that point, the Stones had been making regular payments of about $20,000 to settle their debt, but after the home purchase, authorities said, they stopped making those payments.

The company used to make the purchase, Drake Ventures, “exists as a vehicle to receive income that belongs to the Stones and pay their personal expenses. Indeed, the Stones treat Drake Ventures’ assets as their own,” the government alleges in the civil suit.

Roger Stone keeps appearing in court filings in the Capitol riot investigation

Stone has long complained that the criminal case against him — an indictment accusing him of lying and witness-tampering as Congress investigated Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — devastated his finances. A jury convicted him of those charges, but Trump intervened to keep him from going to prison and pardoned Stone on Dec. 23, 2020.

Stone has said he was forced to move from a comfortable waterfront rental home to a less spacious apartment in Fort Lauderdale. Book sales have long provided a key source of income for Stone, a prolific author who has published books boosting debunked conspiracy theories about the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Clinton family.

In recent months, Stone has faced scrutiny from federal investigators again, this time for his connections to individuals charged in the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol. Stone has not been charged with any crime related to those events, but his name and image have surfaced repeatedly, given that he has closely associated with members of the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, two far-right extremist groups, the latter with a history of violence. Some members of those groups have been charged for their alleged roles in the attack.

Stone has said that while some Oath Keepers offered “to voluntarily provide free security for me” in Washington, D.C., for the protest rally preceding the riot, he had nothing to do with any unlawful acts, calling such implications “guilt by association.”