The charges against Ashley include three felony counts of fraud/rendering income tax return or obtain refund w/fraudulent intent and 18 misdemeanor counts of fraud/sales, use tax return.
According to the criminal complaint, for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018, Ashley failed to report $135,778 of business income on his individual income tax returns. Ashley withheld knowledge of this income from his tax accountant. Additionally, Ashley failed to collect and submit Wisconsin sales tax for those jobs he handled "off the books."
The investigation revealed Ashley's behavior resulted in a tax loss to the State of Wisconsin of $16,921 for tax years 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The Columbia County District Attorney's Office filed the charges following an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue's Office of Criminal Investigation.
If convicted, Ashley may face up to six years in prison and/or $10,000 in fines per felony count and up to nine months confinement and/or $10,000 in fines per misdemeanor count.
The Department of Revenue Office of Criminal Investigation investigates individuals suspected of committing tax crimes and actively seeks criminal prosecution for tax crimes. To report tax fraud, go to the DOR website at revenue.wi.gov and click the "Report tax fraud" link under Quick Links.
Source: State of Wisconsin Department of Revenue