Civic leader ‘shocked’ by fuel tax charge

“I didn’t take any money and I don’t believe anyone else took any money.”

Longtime Rockdale and Milam County civic leader Don Roddam has responded to a whirlwind week which saw him and a daughter charged with felony motor fuel tax fraud by the state.

Roddam, 78, of Minerva, and daughter Sandi Roddam Richter, 50, of Cameron were targeted in an investigation by the state comptroller’s office.

The allegation is that Roddam, Richter and their wholesale business Cam-Rock Oil Company “intentionally failed to remit motor fuel taxes collected on fuel sales.”

Richter is also charged with falsifying fuel tax reports over a 3-1/2-year period ending in 2004.

Wakeup call

“I had absolutely no idea any of this was going on until last Wednesday morning when I got a call from someone in the attorney general’s office telling me to turn myself in that day or I would be arrested,” he said.

That’s also the first time Roddam found out he and Richter had been indicted March 10 by a Travis County grand jury.

“I didn’t know it was possible to be indicted and not know it,” he said. “I was shocked.”

The cases are being prosecuted by the Motor Fuels Tax Fraud Division of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

Penalties range up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 fines.

Roddam is free on $5,000 bond and Richter on $40,000.

‘Mom and pop books’

Roddam has engaged an attorney but still doesn’t know the specifics of the case.

“I know that in September, 2003, the method of paying that tax changed for us,” he said. “Before then we sent in the tax at the end of each month. Afterwards, we paid the tax on the spot to the fuel seller.”

He’s still not sure of the time frame in the allegations.

“I was originally told this covers a period before 2006, then this press release the comptroller’s office sent out says before 2004,” Roddam said.

In recent years, Roddam survived a heart attack and cancer.

“I don’t understand it,” he said. “I know our bookkeeping may not be the best. In fact I’d call it ‘mom and pop’ bookkeeping.”

“But I do know one thing for a fact,” he said. “I didn’t take any money.”

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