Ronald E. Kirkland, former director of sales of Aflac’s U.S. operations, was sentenced today to two years in federal prison.
In October, Kirkland, 64, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri’s Southern Division to two misdemeanor counts of willful failure to file tax returns in 2002 and 2003. His income during those two years totalled almost $4 million.
The judge sentenced Kirkland to one year for each count, said Don Ledford, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Missouri. Officials have yet to determine which federal prison Kirkland will serve his consecutive sentences.
According to the office, Kirkland made about $1,882,786 in 2002. In 2003, he received a gross income of about $2,072,904. Each year, he filed for a deadline extension, but never filed returns.
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Kirkland began his career at Aflac in 1975 as a sales representative and independent contractor in Georgia. He 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.
In 2005, Kirkland accepted a salaried position as senior vice president and director of sales for Aflac U.S. at the company’s Columbus headquarters. In 2006 and 2007, Kirkland was one of the top five most compensated executives at Aflac, according to annual filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Though he planned to retire as U.S. sales director at the end of 2009, Kirkland retired in March. He then took a position as Aflac’s state sales coordinator for Tennessee East. He stepped down from that position in October.
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