Risky Business owner Ronald William Beattie Jr. was denied a new trial and an acquittal following his conviction by a jury for failure to pay taxes.
In a Ninth Judicial District Court order filed March 14, Beattie’s motion for a judgment of acquittal notwithstanding the verdict and a motion for a new trial were both denied.
Judge David J. Ten Eyck, district court judge, made the ruling.
In February, a Crow Wing County jury found Beattie guilty of 35 counts of willfully evading state taxes. The jury heard one-and-a-half days of testimony and deliberated for about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
In going back to the district court, Beattie asked to be acquitted on all counts based on insufficiency of evidence or to grant him a new trial.
The complaint filed on Dec. 13, 2011, stated Beattie willfully failed to file any individual state income tax returns and sales tax and withholding tax returns between 2006 and 2011. At trial, the state’s case contended Beattie attempted to avoid paying taxes by intentionally failing to send information to his accountant. The defendant argued he provided the information and his failure to file and pay taxes was inadvertent. He attributed this to his accountant’s ineptitude. The jury found him guilty on all counts.
In its recent ruling, the court noted emails and testimony was presented at trial to show Beattie did not supply his accountant with the information she requested to file his tax returns.
Beattie, the court stated, presented that he wanted to file and pay but his accountant was incompetent. The court reported Beattie’s theory is undermined by the length of time he failed to pay, the number of notices he received from the Minnesota Department of Revenue regarding his failure to pay and file and his knowledge it was his responsibility to ensure his taxes were filed and paid.
Beattie opened his business Risky Business Novelties and Gifts in Brainerd in 2005. In addition, the complaint alleged he willfully failed to remit or pay the tax on those returns. Beattie was represented by Randal D.B. Tigue. Candace Prigge, assistant Crow Wing County attorney, appeared on behalf of the state.