Hughes estate to pay IRS $22 million on Cast-Crete debt
TAMPA - The estate of Ralph Hughes has reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to pay some of the tens of millions of dollars in back taxes Hughes' company owed the government. The tax bill: $22 million. The estate of the late Hillsborough County powerbroker and business leader agreed to pay the money to the IRS through Hughes' trust. Hughes, the former owner of the concrete products company Cast-Crete Corp., died in 2008 at age 77.The remaining money in the trust — an estimated $16 million to $18 million — goes to the family, said Bart Valdes, attorney for the Hughes family. The company owed the money to the IRS because of John Stanton, the former company president and co-owner, Valdes said. He said Stanton convinced Hughes the company was paying its taxes when it wasn't, he said. Hughes was involved in the operational side of Cast-Crete, Valdes said, and Stanton "was the person that ran the financial side of the business." "The money that is being paid to the IRS is a result of James Stanton's failure to pay taxes on the part of Cast-Crete," Valdes said. Stanton was convicted last month by a federal jury on tax-evasion charges that included one charge of attempting to impede the administration of federal tax laws and seven counts of failing to file personal and corporate tax returns for several years. Stanton faces up to 10 years in federal prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced in March. Shea Hughes, the son of Ralph Hughes and the current CEO of Cast-Crete, said Cast-Crete had a $140 million taxable liability with the IRS — $40 million in overdue taxes and $100 million in penalties, fees and interest. Cast-Crete will pay the balance from its annual profit for the next 10 years, Shea Hughes said. If the IRS finds any money that Stanton took from Cast-Crete, that money also will go to the government, he said. "It's over and done," said Shea Hughes, of Tampa. "That's the good news."
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