Thursday, December 18, 2014
Regional News: Exeter Couple Gets Prison Term For Tax Evasion
Down the road on Highway 6, Rob and Hope Androyna are well known in the Exeter area. And at one time, they were well respected.
Rob, age 46, is the former president of the Exeter Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the school board. Hope, 43, was the secretary of the Exeter Chamber, a successful campaigner for Exeter's updated swimming pool and an EMT instructor in Omaha and Crete.
But they were mostly known as the owners of Exeter Arms, a large firearms retailer -- one of the largest gun dealers in Nebraska.
Now both are headed to prison.
The Lincoln Journal Star reports the couple withheld nearly $200,000 in state and local sales tax, and today was convicted and sentenced for sales tax evasion and income tax evasion. Robert Androyna was sentenced to two consecutive 18- to 36-month prison terms and his ex-wife to two one-year terms, to be served simultaneously.
"It was just a matter of greed," the judge said.
About three years ago, the couple was making headlines for their booming gun business.
But by March 2013, the Journal Star reports, state investigators from the Department of Revenue started taking a closer look at Exeter Arms, which had been operating in some form since 2006.
"Exeter Arms' owners weren't turning over the sales taxes they collected on the guns and ammunition they sold at the business, state investigators found. Bank records showed the couple took in $3.78 million at Exeter Arms from 2009 to 2012, including $194,208 in local and state sales taxes."
"The couple also didn't report any wages on their income tax returns between 2009 and 2011, which would have amounted to $31,395 more, state prosecutors said at a plea hearing."
The moral of the story is we can all complain about taxes, but we had all best pay them, even if we're urging our representatives at the local, state and federal levels to lessen the tax burden weighing us down.
The ultimate irony is this: When the Androynas get out of jail in a few years, they won't be shooting or selling guns. Convicted felons, under federal law, are prohibited from owning firearms.