Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Jordan man charged with tax fraud, including for Bemidji restaurant

SHAKOPEE, Minn. -- A Jordan, Minn., man who allegedly used an employee’s information to purchase a Subway restaurant in Bemidji was charged with 13 tax-related felonies Tuesday.

Ronald Allen Fry, 51, owned the Bemidji restaurant starting in July of last year. He also owned a Dairy Queen and a bowling alley in Belle Plaine, Minn.

Investigators say that Fry repeatedly conducted business at the three locations and collected sales tax despite the revocation of sales tax permits. He is also accused of underreporting sales at the Dairy Queen, Subway and bowling alley in order to reduce the amount of money owed to the state in taxes.

According to a criminal complaint:

Law enforcement became aware of Fry’s conduct in September after the case was referred to them by the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Collections Division.

Fry had been operating a business named “HR Management,” to which a sales tax permit was issued in 2013. The MDR revoked that permit in October 2015 due to Fry’s alleged failure to file sales tax returns, failure to remit sales tax to the state and for owing money to the department.

Fry continued to apply for various sales tax permits in 2016 and 2017 using different names and companies; when granted, the permits were quickly canceled by the MDR.

In October 2016, one of Fry’s employees applied for a sales tax permit for the Dairy Queen’s location in Belle Plaine. The complaint accused Fry of convincing the employee to become the on-paper owner of the Dairy Queen in order to obtain the permit.

In July 2017, Fry is accused of using the same company officially owned by the employee to buy a Bemidji Subway location; the address of the store was not listed in the complaint. Though no sales tax permit was issued for the Subway, Fry collected sales tax there, the complaint said. The sales tax permit for the Bemidji store was canceled in November.

After a Department of Revenue investigator examined Fry’s bank accounts, he allegedly found that all three businesses had underreported their sales by $1.9 million between 2013 and 2017.

Fry was charged in Scott County with four counts of making retail sales without a sales tax permit, five counts of filing a false sales tax return and four counts of attempting to evade or defeat a tax by failing to file a return, report or other document when required. He is scheduled to appear in court July 16.

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or gpastoor@bemidjipioneer.com

(218) 333-9796