Rick Jones pleads guilty to tax evasion

By Ann Knef | Jan 22, 2009

Rick Jones (left) and Tom Lakin are cover models in a 2005 calendar "Real Men of the Riverbend." The background --Deer Park in Wood River -- was an area slated for contaminated soil clean up. Jones was the contractor.

Rick Jones of Wood River has pleaded guilty to tax evasion for having failed to pay more than $1.2 million in federal taxes in 2003.

Jones, 55, is a former contractor and developer who operated under businesses known as Triad Industries and RLJ LLC.

Courtney Cox, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, stated that Jones' taxable income in 2003 was actually $5,248,345, with tax due of $1,766,224. Charges indicate that Jones reported $1,738,882 in taxable income in a joint return that year, with $537,912 tax due.

He pleaded guilty today in federal district court in Benton.

Jones had a contract with BP Amoco to clean up contaminated soil near the Wood River refinery, a project which got under way in 2002. Jones sued BP in Madison County Circuit Court in 2005 over the project's failure.

Tom Lakin, who is serving a six-year sentence on drug charges, represented Jones's contracting business, Triad Industries, and his development business, RLJ LLC, in that suit. RLJ would have marketed the refinery property as Triad completed the cleanup.

Jones and BP settled in 2006, on confidential terms.

In August, the Record reported that IRS and FBI agents had obtained records from Jones, information which came to light in a divorce proceeding against his wife Dorothy Jones.

Sentencing has been scheduled for April 23.

The maximum penalties that can be imposed for Jones' tax evasion violation are five years' imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years' supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.

The case was investigated by agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Clark.

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