A former Kentucky Wildcat is breathing a big sigh of relief. A federal jury acquitted Randolph Morris of several tax crimes today for failing to report more than $13 million he earned while playing professionally in China from 2010 to 2017. In February, Morris was charged with three counts of wire fraud and eight counts of making false statements; however, a jury ruled that he did not intentionally defraud the United States.
Morris took the stand on Tuesday and Wednesday and testified that he believed his income from the Beijing Ducks was already taxed because his agent Wallace Prather told him so. He said he signed with the team in part because Prather told him they would take care of all of his taxes for him. The truth is, the team only paid Morris’ taxes to the Chinese government, not the U.S. government.
Morris provided emails showing he requested his tax documents from the Ducks several times to no avail. Prather said not to worry about it and suggested he not report his Chinese income on his taxes.
“Dudes don’t even report that s**t in America,” Prather said in an email, per the Herald-Leader. “Or they report less. But if you have an issue, then the team will be asked for a (form) to show your tax people.”
Tax records show Morris did report other income on his taxes, including revenue from NBA licensing checks.
“It was my understanding that the Chinese team was taking care of the rest,” Morris said.
Inquiring minds must know…did Morris check his fax machine for the tax documents?