PORTLAND, Ore. - A former executive at athletic footwear and apparel company Nike pleaded guilty to evading currency importation reporting laws and filing a false federal income tax return, following an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Ronald N. Hartfeil, 52, of Oregon City, Ore., traveled to South Korea in 2007. When he returned to the United States, he was carrying $20,000 worth of traveler's checks, but he failed to declare them to U.S. customs authorities.
According to the plea agreement, Hartfeil knew he was required to report that he was transporting more than $10,000, but he purposely evaded this requirement. In addition, he mailed an additional $10,000 in traveler's checks to his home in Oregon from South Korea.
The investigation into Hartfeil also revealed that he and his wife Debra L. Hartfeil, 52, jointly filed a federal tax return declaring an adjusted gross income of $1,879,061 for 2007. The income was reportedly earned primarily from Mr. Hartfeil's position at Nike.
However, further investigation into the Hartfeil's finances showed that in 2005, 2006 and 2007, they received a $100,000 per year from a Korean footwear manufacturer. This income was not reported on their joint federal income tax returns, allowing the couple to avoid additional tax liabilities of more than $25,000 over a three-year period. Mrs. Hartfeil has pleaded guilty to filing a false federal income tax return.
"Today's guilty plea serves as a reminder of the importance of complying with our nation's monetary laws," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of ICE HSI for the Pacific Northwest. "HSI will continue to target individuals and organizations that engage in this type of illegal activity to ensure that they do not create vulnerability and exploit our nation's financial system."
HSI was joined in this investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division and the case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hannah Horsley. The Hartfeils are scheduled to be sentenced on March 8, 2011.