A former owner of a central Minnesota golf club and banquet hall has been sentenced to prison for evading nearly $500,000 in federal taxes by conducting almost 100 bank transactions in an amount just shy of triggering legal reporting requirements.
Roger M. Pedley, 71, of Motley, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Duluth to one year and one day in prison, and he was ordered to pay $489,623 in restitution and fined $60,000 for evading taxes for years 2006 through 2009.
The onetime owner of the Pine Ridge Golf Club in Motley pleaded guilty last year, admitting that he carried out 94 cash transactions of $9,900 each, just below the $10,000 minimum that would have required reports to the U.S. Treasury.
Pedley told an IRS agent that the money came from his mother and was not income, according to court records. However, he later admitted that a banker advised him on how to slip under the reporting requirement and evade income taxes.
The defendant "systematically cheated on his taxes, took great pains to keep what he was doing concealed and was willing to lie to law enforcement not once but twice to keep his secret," the prosecution wrote in a court filing arguing for prison time.
The defense countered that its client was a law-abiding and hardworking citizen, and a "devoted husband and father" who should be sentenced to no more than six to 12 months of community confinement — typically a halfway house — and probation.
Pedley used the money to cover loans he had taken out to build a new bowling center near Little Falls and "to provide for his wife and son," a defense court filing explained.
The golf club was sold to new owners in July 2013, about three months after Pedley's guilty plea.