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Former Cup Owner Ron Devine Pleads “Not Guilty” in Tax Evasion Lawsuit According to Motorsports Journalist Bob Pockrass

Published 11/15/2023, 12:55 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Last October, the former owner of BK Racing, Ron Devine, was indicted for the failure to commit to his payroll taxes on four counts. With a federal public defender being appointed to defend him in the case, Devine has now pleaded “not guilty” to all counts as per the latest court records. The indictments make the case that Devine had caused BK Racing to not pay hundreds of thousands of dollars that it owed in payroll taxes, starting in 2012.

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Should he be proven guilty, Devine could face a maximum of five years in prison and a maximum penalty of $250,000 for each of the four counts.

BK Racing owner Ron Devine pleads “Not Guilty” in charges against him


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As per the allegations that were filed against Ron Devine last month, he was the eye that oversaw the financial matters of the former Cup Series team BK Racing in the capacity of owner and president. It was also stated that between the years of 2012 and 2017, Devine had transferred funds, that were to be used to pay taxes, to various other accounts that he controlled. Some of these funds were also used to pay for the team’s operating expenses. The indictment further alleged that he’d not paid a total of $390,000 in taxes in 2017.

Facing severe punishments and fines in the event that he was to be found guilty, Devine has now taken his first step by pleading not guilty.


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According to online federal court records, former Cup owner Ron Devine pleaded not guilty today to four counts of failure to pay payroll taxes. A federal public defender was appointed to represent him in this case.

— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) November 15, 2023

Payroll taxes are levied on business owners and are, in turn, withheld from the gross pay of employees who work for them. The amount is used for funding Social Security and Medicare. It also covers the income taxes that are withdrawn from the payments that go out to employees. BK Racing was required to contribute an amount matching the tax that it withdrew from employees’ pay and contribute it towards trust fund taxes. The failure of Ron Devine to do this is what has landed him in the mud. Coincidence or not, this isn’t the first time Ron Devine has been mixed up with the judicial system.

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Ron Devine’s filing for bankruptcy and the subsequent fate of BK Racing


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BK Racing had fielded a car in the Cup Series between 2012 and 2018. Three days before the 2018 Daytona 500 began, Devine filed for bankruptcy surprising NASCAR stakeholders. The reason behind his doing so was that a bank that he’d borrowed a sum of $8 million was about to begin court proceedings against him and his team. Facing the threat of being ordered to not sell or lease his team’s charter, Devine had taken a step ahead and filed for bankruptcy hoping that the situation would resolve in the near future.

He’d said before the Daytona race, according to NBC Sports, “We’ll get it resolved. I promise you, we will get it resolved. The bank wants it resolved, and I want it resolved. We will get it resolved. And I’ll see you in Homestead (for the season finale).”

The problem did get resolved, but at the end of it all, Devine was left without a team. As a result of the filing, a certain Judge J. Craig Whitley had given the green signal for the sale of BK Racing to Front Row Motorsports for a price of $2.08 million. Put on the stand, Devine had requested to not sell the team. But it was not to avail.


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In 2022, five years after the bankruptcy filing, the issue kept hanging on to Devine’s neck. As per Fox Sports, a judge had ordered him to pay $31 million after the proceedings because he hadn’t complied with the “discovery procedures of financial disclosures”. The tax evasion claims against Devine come at a time when his past still continues to follow him with heat. Hopefully, matters will be cleared and the workings behind BK Racing will be brought to light soon.

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Written by:

Gowtham Ramalingam


One take at a time

Hello, there! Though my affinity for racing originally stemmed from the European circuits of Formula 1 as a teen, I unexpectedly found myself drawn to NASCAR's unparalleled excitement growing up. This sport took hold of me and never let go, leading me to a career as a NASCAR writer. Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance to share my insights and observations through a myriad of articles on EssentiallySports.
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Edited by:

Abhishek Ramesh