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Former Grateful Dead manager sentenced to 5-years in prison for tax evasion

A former manager for the Grateful Dead has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for tax evasion, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Ronald Leon Rakow, 69, was ordered to begin his prison term in June for evading payment of $2.2 million (EUR1.64 million) in taxes owed to the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Rakow was convicted in July of one count of tax evasion. During his two-week trial, prosecutors presented evidence showing Rakow hid his assets to prevent the IRS from collecting taxes dating back to 1985.

Prosecutors said that from 1998 to 2003, Rakow transferred about $5.2 million (EUR3.87 million) in income from consulting fees, stock and assets under his control into accounts held in other names. They alleged Rakow directed accountholders to use the funds to pay his expenses.

Rakow had asked for a lighter sentence, but U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow rejected his request. She said he chose to break the law to support his "comfortable lifestyle."

An after-hours call to Rakow was not immediately returned Tuesday.