Lottery's IRS penalties reversed thanks to NLR attorney

      (left to right) Carrold Ray, Bruce Engstrom, Sam Hilburn (photo courtesy Ark Lottery Commission)

      LITTLE ROCK - The Arkansas Lottery Commission's 2011 tax penalties have been reversed, thanks to the pro-bono efforts of a North Little Rock attorney.

      After hearing the Lottery had been assessed federal tax penalties in 2011, Carrold E. Ray, Jr., volunteered his time to help. He explained that histwo daughters were recipients of the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery-fundedArkansas Academic Challenge Scholarships, so he wanted to give back toan agency that was helping his family.

      At the Monday meeting of the Arkansas Lottery Commission,Chairman Ben Pickard of Searcy recognized Ray and announced that his workhad led to an agreement with the Internal Revenue Serviceto refund $104,570 to the Lottery next month.

      "We are grateful for Mr. Ray's generous sacrifice of histime and effort, and for his excellent work, pro bono, in behalf of theArkansas Scholarship Lottery. We could not have accomplished a successfuloutcome without him," said Pickard. "Not only did the agency avoid whatwould have been prohibitive legal fees to deal with this complicated IRSmatter, the students of Arkansas will soon realize about $100,000 in theirscholarship fund that would not have returned without Mr. Ray's expertiseand his 18-month conversation with the IRS in pursuit of this positivesolution."