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Santa Barbara Businessman Pleads Guilty to State Tax Charges

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Public Affairs Office Brenda Voet

For Immediate Release


Sacramento – A Santa Barbara businessman plead guilty to failing to report more than $12.5 million dollars in income for state income tax purposes, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) announced.

Rienk L. Ayers, 48, failed to file his 2001 through 2003 state income tax returns, did not report more than $12.5 million dollars earned during these years, and owes in excess of $271,000 in state taxes, penalties, and interest.

During this time, Ayers owned several cell phone towers and three companies that manufactured disguises for cell phone towers to look like trees, flag poles and other structures. Using complicated business structures involving trusts and limited liability companies, Ayers attempted to disguise his taxable income.

Ayres could face up to three years in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for May 18 in the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Superior Court Judge James Iwasko presided over the proceedings. Attorney Edward Skelly with the California Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case.

The failure to file income tax returns is part of the $6.5 billion tax gap California faces each year. The tax gap is defined as the difference between the tax that is owed and the tax that is paid.

For more information on other taxes and fees in California, visit:

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