The US is suing Trump’s ally Roger Stone, claiming he owes about $ 2 million in unpaid taxes

© Reuters. Former Trump campaign advisor Stone leaves the U.S. District Court after a hearing in Washington

By Jan Wolfe and Brad Heath

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday sued Roger Stone, stating that former President Donald Trump’s close ally owed about $ 2 million in unpaid federal income taxes, according to a Reuters court document.

The civil lawsuit filed in Florida federal court alleged that Stone and his wife, Nydia, were using a commercial unit to “protect their personal income from forced income and fund a lavish lifestyle despite nearly $ 2 million owed unpaid taxes, interest and penalties. “

Stone said his tax bill had been public knowledge for years, calling claims of a lavish lifestyle “a ridiculous joke”.

“This is yet another example of the Democrats arming the Justice Department in violation of the rule of law. I will fight and reassert these politically motivated allegations,” Stone said in a statement.

Stone, 68, is a brightly colored Republican politician known for his high quality wardrobe and tattoo on the back of former President Richard Nixon.

Stone advised Trump when the wealthy real estate developer toyed with becoming president in 2000 and briefly worked on Trump’s successful 2016 campaign.

Stone was charged by Robert Mueller, the former special adviser tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mueller’s investigation, which Trump described as a “witch hunt,” resulted in criminal charges against dozens of people, including Trump officials such as political strategist Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

A federal jury in Washington sentenced Stone on seven counts in which he lied to Congress, obstructed the judiciary and manipulated witnesses. During the trial, prosecutors said Stone told US House Intelligence Committee lawmakers five different lies about his contacts with the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks.

Trump granted Stone a presidential pardon in December and brushed off the criminal conviction. Trump had previously commuted Stone’s verdict to avoid jail time.

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