Sioux Falls, SD
A Sioux Falls businessman is going to federal prison for 11 months after admitting he didn't pay more than $350,000 in taxes.
Jared Adrian, the owner of Jared Adrian Sod, was sentenced Monday afternoon after pleading guilty to a federal charge of failing to collect and pay taxes.
Adrian and his father - Jerry Adrian - were originally charged in 2012 along with Raymond Ehrman, a 'trust expert,' out of Freeman, South Dakota. Jerry Adrian died in September and charges against Ehrman were dismissed three months later.
2012 Story: Adrian Sod Owner Charged With Avoiding Taxes
Besides being sentenced to nearly a year in federal prison, Adrian has also been ordered to pay the $357,542.70 he owes in back taxes.
Adrian admits he didn't pay personal income tax from 2005 to 2009. He also admits he treated his employees at Jared Adrian Sod like 'contract laborers' and didn't take out any federal employee withholdings from their paychecks.
In court Monday, Jared Adrian apologized and said he was following advice from his late father, Jerry Adrian, who court documents say had sent a letter to the president saying he had 'voluntarily expatriated his citizenship.'
Family members told Judge Karen Schreier Monday that their father had started getting advice from a 'cult-like' group in Freeman, South Dakota, when he decided he didn't need to pay taxes.
"It was preached to us hard," Jared Adrian said of his father's beliefs. "I respected my dad. He was a community leader."
Judge Schreier said Adrian's case is unique because he had the money but chose not to pay taxes.
"Our whole country depends on people paying their federal income tax. You can't just have a large segment of the population deciding they don't want to pay anymore," Schreier said.
Adrian and his attorney did not want to comment after court. Adrian said he plans to pay back his taxes, and his father's taxes, with his inheritance.
He needs to report to prison by June 30.