Ronald E. Kirkland, former Aflac director of sales, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to failing to file tax returns on millions of dollars in pay.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Western District of Missouri, Kirkland, 64, admitted to not filing tax returns from 2002 to 2005. During those four years, Kirkland reportedly received a total gross income of about $6,325,333. Each year, he filed for a deadline extension, but never ended up filing returns, the office said.
Kirkland began his career at Aflac in 1975 as a sales representative and independent contractor in Georgia. He’s held various positions within the company’s sales force, including district sales coordinator, regional sales coordinator, state sales coordinator and vice president, west territory director.
While state sales coordinator for Missouri, new sales more than doubled over a three-year period and the Show-Me State was one of Aflac’s fastest-growing state operations, according to the company.
The federal office said it was during that time as Missouri sales manager that Kirkland committed some of the offenses. The former Greene County, Missouri, resident also operated his own insurance business then.
In 2005, Kirkland was promoted to a salaried position as Aflac’s senior vice president and U.S. director of sales at the company’s Columbus headquarters. Though he planned to retire from Aflac at the end of 2009, he retired in March. Ronald S. Sanders has since taken over Kirkland’s duties as senior vice president and deputy director of sales.
Under federal statutes, Kirkland may be sentenced to up to two years in federal prison without parole. He may also have to pay a fine up to $200,000. After a pre-sentence investigation by the United States Probation Office, a sentencing hearing will be scheduled.
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