The owner of a successful Sioux Falls sod company is facing a 45-count federal indictment for not paying his taxes since 2001.
Jerry Adrian, 70, who owns Adrian Sod Incorporated, is charged with tax evasion and failure to pay taxes. Jared Adrian, 45, and 76-year-old Raymond Ehrman are also charged in the case.
The indictment lists at least seven different occasions when Jerry Adrian didn't pay his taxes since 2001. The total amount owed just in those cases is more than a half million dollars.
And if Jerry Adrian is convicted on all the counts it could send the 70-year-old to prison the rest of his life.
For 44 years, Jerry Adrian has owned and operated Adrian Sod Inc. just outside of Sioux Falls, but for the past 12 years prosecutors say Jerry Adrian hasn't been paying his federal income taxes.
The 30-page indictment says that Jerry Adrian stopped paying taxes sometime in 2001 and started making several maneuvers to hide his income, real estate and his assets.
Federal investigators say Jerry Adrian started setting up several 'sham' trust accounts in 2002 by using phony identification numbers. The indictment says that Raymond Ehrman of Freeman helped facilitate the accounts.
Jerry Adrian then started funneling his income, real estate and even 22 personal and business vehicles through the five different trust accounts in an effort to 'conceal his personal assets.'
In 2002, Adrian sent a letter to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service saying he was no longer a U.S. citizen. In that same mailing, he provided a letter addressed to President George W. Bush showing that he 'voluntarily expatriated his citizenship.'
When a federal IRS investigator interviewed Adrian two years ago about not paying his taxes, he said that his net worth was 'nothing' but the money in his trust accounts is worth $5 million.
And now after years of not paying taxes, the successful sod salesman is facing several years in federal prison.
Court documents also say when Jerry Adrian and his business partner sold the apple orchard in Harrisburg in 2005, Adrian sold his share to his partner for one dollar and then made his partner pay back his various trust accounts with money from the sale.