Jury finds Beattie guilty of tax evasion | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Jury finds Beattie guilty of tax evasion

Risky Business owner found guilty of 35 counts

Posted: February 3, 2013 - 10:59pm

A Crow Wing County jury found Ronald William Beattie Jr. guilty of 35 counts of willfully evading state taxes.

The jury returned with the verdict Thursday in the matter of the state of Minnesota vs. Beattie, age 45, of Baxter. Beattie was represented by defense attorney Randall D.B. Tigue.

The jury heard one-and-a-half days of testimony and deliberated for about seven hours before returning the guilty verdicts. The complaint filed on Dec. 12, 2011, alleged that Beattie willfully failed to file any individual state income tax returns and sales tax and withholding tax returns from the time he opened his business Risky Business Novelties and Gifts in Brainerd in 2005 through April 15, 2011. In addition, the complaint alleged he willfully failed to remit or pay the tax on those returns.

In July 2012, prosecutors requested the court freeze several of Beattie’s bank accounts as restitution for the case. The freezing of the accounts resulted in the Minnesota Department of Revenue receiving $281,000 in sales tax, penalties and interest that was due. Beattie also filed and paid the withholding and individual income tax, penalties and interest after the criminal complaint was filed.

The criminal investigation was conducted by the Minnesota Department of Revenue Criminal Investigation Division, with assistance from the Brainerd and Baxter Police Departments. Risky Business, at 326 Washington Street in Brainerd, sells sexually explicit inventory.

In November of 2012, Beattie took Crow Wing County to federal court over guidelines in the county’s sexually oriented businesses ordinance, calling the county’s ordinance unconstitutional. The county adopted its sexually oriented businesses ordinance on April 10, 2012.

Beattie was also arrested in 2011 and 2012 and charged with selling synthetic cannabinoids. The first incident with Beattie began when a new law went into effect July 1, 2011, in Minnesota that prohibits the possession and sale of synthetic cannabinoids.

Brainerd police then advised Risky Business to stop selling the synthetic marijuana. On July 27, 2011, Beattie was arrested for selling the illegal products. Police then seized an amount with an estimated value of more than $12,000. The second incident was on Dec. 8, 2011, when officers conducted a controlled buy of the suspected illegal synthetic cannabinoids at the lingerie, novelty and video store and arrested Beattie again. Police then seized about 430 individual packages of variety of suspected synthetic cannabinoids labeled under names of “Down 2 Earth,” Mystic” and “Kush Max.” The products had an estimated sale value of more than $15,000. In August of 2012, Beattie was arrested again for selling synthetic cannabinoids.