Saturday, December 16, 2017
Business

Ralph Hughes' family reaches $22 million settlement on Cast Crete tax bill

The family of the late Ralph Hughes has reached an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to pay $22 million in taxes owed by Hughes' company, Cast Crete Inc.

That will leave Hughes' family with $16 million to $18 million from a family trust, the family's attorney, Bart Valdes, said Thursday. Hughes, a political power broker and anti-tax crusader, died in 2008 at age 77.

Cast Crete, a Seffner building supplies company, earned $160 million in profit from 2001 through 2007, but paid just $93,717 in taxes, according to federal prosecutors in the recent criminal trial of Cast Crete president John D. Stanton III.

That left Cast Crete a tax liability of $140 million, including interest and penalties.

A federal jury convicted Stanton last month of failing to pay corporate and personal taxes and then obstructing the IRS. Stanton faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced later this year. He is in jail until sentencing.

Cast Crete's future profits will be used to pay back taxes until the $140 million tax liability is eliminated, Hughes' son, Shea Hughes, told jurors at Stanton's trial. Shea Hughes is now operating Cast Crete.

Valdes noted that Ralph Hughes worked on the operations side of Cast Crete, while Stanton handled the company's finances and taxes.

"Ralph Hughes filed his tax returns and paid every penny in taxes he owed," Valdes said.

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