R&B singer RONALD ISLEY, 65, was sentenced to three years in prison Friday for tax evasion. The ISLEY BROTHERS legend, who was also ordered to pay $3.1 million to the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS), engaged in a “pervasive, long-term, pathological” evasion of federal taxes, according to Los Angeles US District Court Judge Dean Pregerson. The sentences were handed down after Isley was convicted last October of five counts of tax evasion and one count of willful failure to file a tax return. During the three-week trial, prosecutors said Isley failed to make any voluntary payments to the IRS between 1976 and 1996. They also said he spent millions of dollars of unreported cash payments for performances on a yacht and two homes, and cashed royalty checks belonging to his late brother, O’Kelly, who died of a heart attack in 1986. Isley’s lawyer told the court yesterday that his client was selling off his assets in an attempt to pay his tax bill, and also attempted to secure probation for his client because of his poor health, following a stroke and a battle with kidney cancer. But Judge Pregerson refused to take Isley’s medical conditions into account. The Isley Brothers started singing together as teens in the 1950s. Their early hits included “Shout,” which has become a frequently-covered rock tune, “Twist and Shout,” which was notably covered by the Beatles, and the Motown tune “This Old Heart of Mine.” Their most recent album, “Baby Makin’ Music,” came out in May, coinciding with the announcement that Ronald Isley and new wife Kandy were expecting a baby in January 2007.
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