Dispute Between Trucking Exec, IRS Expanding to Include Other Claimants

The showdown between Ralph Bradbury and the Internal Revenue Service, which first began in November 2011, has grown to include counterclaims and another defendant.

If you recall, the case grew out of Bradbury’s second stint as president of the Little Rock trucking company Continental Express Inc. back in 2008. The company sold in December 2008, after which the IRS sent Bradbury a bill of more than $800,000 for the company’s unpaid employment taxes.

Bradbury sued the IRS in U.S. District Court in Little Rock, arguing that Continental’s former owners, Little Rock businessman Ed Harvey and his wife, Bonnie, or their financial adviser, Marvin Jones of Little Rock, should be held responsible for the taxes.

Bradbury said in his lawsuit that he wants the IRS to stop trying to collect the money from him. He also said the IRS kept nearly $9,000 from tax refunds he was owed, and he wants that money back.

The IRS filed its answer and asked that Bradbury’s case be dismissed.

It also filed a counterclaim against Bradbury and Rick Acklin, who was Continental’s CFO. The IRS said both men were responsible for collecting and paying the company’s taxes.

The IRS first handed Acklin a bill for more than $1 million. Acklin appealed, and the amount was eventually reduced to $29,525. Acklin submitted $1,000 for the bill and the IRS kept a nearly $4,000 refund that he was owed, leaving him with a balance of nearly $25,000.

The IRS is seeking the amounts, plus court costs and interest, from Bradbury and Acklin.

Acklin denied the IRS’s allegations and filed a counterclaim against the IRS. In his filing, Acklin’s version of events mirrored Bradbury’s. Acklin said the Harveys and their financial adviser were in control of Continental’s purse strings.

“The Harveys failed to provide additional capital and the financial position of Continental deteriorated,” Acklin said in the lawsuit.

Acklin said in the lawsuit that he shouldn’t have to pay the company’s taxes, and he wants the $5,000 that the IRS has already received from him.