A federal jury convicted a Lexington businessman on Thursday of filing false income tax returns from 2002 through 2005.
John Lee VanArsdale, 46, wrongfully deducted more than $270,000 in personal expenses, claiming them to be legitimate business expenses for his company Savage Technical Services Inc. As a result, he avoided paying nearly $90,000 in federal income taxes, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Kerry Harvey.
Some of the expenses Van Arsdale deducted were for vacations to France, Spain, Japan, New York, Florida and the Caribbean islands. He also deducted the costs of renovations to his and his ex-wife's residences, rent on his girlfriend's residence, attorney bills for his divorce and to set up his children's trust, cosmetic dentistry, designer clothing, massages, groceries, liquor and restaurant meals, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
VanArsdale also engaged in a cash kickback scheme in which he paid a friend $1,000 a month by check to rent a small office in the friend's home, then directed the friend to cash each check and return $800 from each check. VanArsdale then wrongfully deducted from his taxes each $1,000 as business rent, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
After the jury's verdict, Chief U.S. District Judge Jennifer B. Coffman determined VanArsdale to be a flight risk, and he was taken into custody. He is scheduled to appear for sentencing on Jan. 27.
VanArsdale's company services machinery at automobile assembly plants, including the Toyota plant in Georgetown.