CPA Who Evaded Taxes Free To Travel To Europe

FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) — A Springdale woman who pleaded guilty to evading taxes on more than $1 million will be allowed to leave the country for an educational trip to Europe, according to federal court documents.

Gini Driskell, 49, of Springdale failed to pay taxes on $1.6 million in compensation over nine years while she worked as a certified public accountant in Little Rock. She pleaded guilty April 26 and will have a sentencing hearing later this year, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Driskell argued she and her son had been planning the trip since November 2015 and if they weren’t allowed to go, the entire trip was in jeopardy, according to court documents. She said six travelers are required for the trip and no refund would be issued if it was canceled.

U.S. District Judge Robert T. Dawson granted Driskell’s request May 16.

While the court noted Driskell “made and paid for this … tour several months before” pleading guilty, payment details from EF Tours show Driskell made a direct debit payment as late as April 10 — four days before she signed her plea agreement.

EF Tours is a travel company that offers packaged tours worldwide. Driskell’s itinerary includes stops in England, Ireland and Wales over nine days in June, according to court documents.

Driskell, who is free on a $10,000 bond, was required to surrender her passport and stay within Benton, Madison and Washington counties under the conditions of her release, according to court documents.

The U.S. attorney’s office did not immediately respond to messages left Wednesday (May 24).