Last Updated on October 18, 2023 6:51 pm
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Federal charges have been filed against a former NASCAR team owner, announced Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. A Charlotte grand jury returned a bill of indictment, charging Ronald Devine, 67, of Burke, Virginia, with four counts of failure to pay payroll taxes.
Donald “Trey” Eakins, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, Charlotte Field Office (IRS-CI), Robert M. DeWitt, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Tommy D. Coke, Inspector in Charge of the Atlanta Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which oversees Charlotte, join U.S. Attorney King in making today’s announcement.
According to allegations in the indictment, Devine was the owner and President of BK Racing, LLC (BK Racing), which operated a NASCAR racing team and owned two NASCAR charters. As BK Racing’s owner, 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.
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. Employers are also required to make contributions to trust fund taxes matching the amounts withheld from their employees’ pay, and to file quarterly an Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, Form 941, indicating payment of the relevant taxes.
The indictment alleges that, starting in 2012, Devine caused BK Racing to fail to account for and pay over 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 due to the IRS. The indictment further 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.
The charges against Devine are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt in a court of law.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney King commended IRS-CI, the FBI, and USPIS for their investigation of the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Caryn Finley and Daniel Ryan of the Office in Charlotte are prosecuting the case.