View Full Version : Unpaid Taxes Could Be Bonds' Downfall

07-18-2006, 10:40 PM
Unpaid Taxes Could Be Bonds (http://search.breitbart.com/q?s=bonds&sid=breitbart.com)' Downfall
Jul 18 7:43 PM US/Eastern
http://www.breitbart.com/images/envelope.gif Email this story (http://www.breitbart.com/cgi/email_story.cgi) http://img.breitbart.com/images/ap.gif
Associated Press Writers


The easy money Barry Bonds made by aggressively selling his name, likeness and sports equipment (http://search.breitbart.com/q?s=%22sports+equipment%22&sid=breitbart.com) through his Web site and brief autograph sessions in hotel conference rooms could prove to be the embattled slugger's legal undoing.
A federal grand jury is probing whether he paid taxes on some of that fortune, and key government witnesses include a scorned business partner and a jilted lover who profited from the name "Barry Bonds." He also is being investigated for allegedly lying to another federal grand jury about his steroid use.
Legal analysts said proving the Giants star cheated the IRS out of its cut of memorabilia sales is far easier to prove than perjury.
If so, Bonds wouldn't be the first professional athlete to run afoul of the IRS over sales of autographed jerseys, balls and baseball cards.
Pete Rose in 1990 served five months in prison (http://search.breitbart.com/q?s=%22five+months+in+prison%22&sid=breitbart.com) for not reporting income from memorabilia. Several other prominent players _ including Darryl Strawberry and Hall of Famers Duke Snider and Willie McCovey _ were busted in the 1990s for not properly reporting such income.
Brian Hennigan, a Los Angeles lawyer who represented Strawberry when the baseball player pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 1995, said it's relatively easy to fall into tax trouble because the memorabilia business is largely cash-and-carry.
Sports memorabilia is a multimillion-dollar enterprise for professional athletes. Bonds sells his jerseys for as much as $1,900 on his Web site.
"The money is so easily accessible," Hennigan said. "There's going to be a lot of cash, and the promoter says 'Here is an envelope, it's full of cash' and it's just handed to you and you drive away and there aren't any forms to sign."
Strawberry was sentenced to six months of home confinement and ordered to pay $350,000 in back taxes. Other athletes have paid fines and back taxes to settle their tax problems.
"The sentence certainly depends on how much money is involved and how long it has been going on," Hennigan said. "If the athlete gets a lot of cash and never reports any of it, more likely than not the government is going to look at it harshly."
A Bonds indictment could come as soon as Thursday when the grand jury investigating his case is expected to end its service.
But the grand jury's term could be extended or a new panel could be given the investigation, former prosecutors (http://search.breitbart.com/q?s=%22former+prosecutors%22&sid=breitbart.com) said.
Nonetheless, it's clear Bonds is in a legal pickle. Laura Enos, one of Bonds' attorneys, said the slugger's legal team would be "crazy" if it was not preparing a defense, although she says her client is innocent and should not be indicted. She said she has no knowledge of a pending indictment.
The left fielder's latest legal troubles began in 2003, after he told federal authorities that boyhood friend Steve Hoskins, who ran his memorabilia business, had forged his signature on contracts and sold his gear without permission.
But Hoskins countered that Bonds was giving tens of thousands of dollars in cash made from the sales to Bonds' then-girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, according to Hoskins' attorney, Michael Cardoza.
Bell didn't return telephone calls.
At times, Bonds sold autographed baseballs "as fast as he could" for $100 apiece, Cardoza said. Bonds would arrange the signing sessions when Bell complained that she needed cash, according to Aphrodite Jones, who spent six months with Bell in a failed bid to publish a book about Bell's affair with Bonds.
The specter of an indictment and of bogus Bonds paraphernalia is putting a damper on sales of Bonds' name.
"The sale of his memorabilia is pretty soft right now, understandably so," said Doug Allen, president of Mastro Auctions, of Burr Ridge, Ill. "There's a lot of question marks surrounding him."
Jones said Bell used proceeds from Bonds' memorabilia sales to make an $80,000 down payment for a Scottsdale, Ariz. house. The government reportedly is looking into the source of the house payment in its tax- evasion investigation.
Enos said Bonds denies those allegations and will argue that Bell's testimony amounts to "pillow talk."
The perjury case against Bonds arose from his 2003 testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (http://search.breitbart.com/q?s=%22Bay+Area+Laboratory+Co-Operative%22&sid=breitbart.com), a nutritional supplement company exposed as the steroid supplier to top athletes. Bonds testified that he didn't knowingly ingest steroids given to him by his personal trainer, according to grand jury transcripts obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Five men connected to BALCO pleaded guilty to steroid distribution and other charges.
Greg Anderson, Bonds' personal trainer, served three months in prison for his role in the ring. Now, Anderson is behind bars again for refusing to testify in the ongoing Bonds' probe. If convicted of perjury, Bonds could face up to five years in prison. He could face another five years if convicted of money laundering (http://search.breitbart.com/q?s=%22money+laundering%22&sid=breitbart.com).

07-18-2006, 10:48 PM
Questions continue to swirl around Bonds
Bob Nightengale
Jul. 18, 2006 12:00 PM

San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds, who has repeatedly denied he knowingly used illegal performance-enhancing drugs, could be indicted as early as Wednesday for perjury and tax evasion, according to attorneys involved in the case.

Laura Enos, Bonds' personal attorney, told the Associated Press last week she expected an indictment this week. She later amended her statement, saying that Bonds' legal team was simply preparing for an indictment.

"My guess is that if they're going to indict, it certainly will be this week," says Michael Cardoza, who represents Steve Hoskins, Bonds' former best friend and business manager who testified to the grand jury. "I don't have inside information, but it really could happen at any time. Hypothetically, they could do it" Wednesday.

Bonds, who testified before a separate grand jury on Dec. 4, 2003, that he never knowingly used steroids, has been the focus of a continuing federal probe that was designed to break up a company (Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative) suspected of distributing steroids to athletes. Bonds was told at the grand jury he would not be prosecuted for any crime but warned he could be charged with perjury if he lied in his testimony.

The BALCO grand jury heard testimony from Kimberly Bell, his former girlfriend, who said Bonds used steroids, according to Hugh Levin, her attorney at the time. Hoskins also informed the FBI that Bonds was a steroid user, according to Cardoza. Hoskins, like Bell, testified in front of the grand jury, according to Mike Rains, Bonds' criminal attorney.

Bonds, who told reporters he's not worried about a possible indictment, also faces a possible suspension by Major League Baseball. Commissioner Bud Selig has yet to make a decision. Yet he told USA TODAY "there is precedence" for a suspension using the commissioner's "best interest of the game" clause based on pitcher Ferguson Jenkins' drug arrest in 1980.

The grand jury is scheduled to expire Thursday, according to The New York Times and New York Daily News.

If an indictment is handed up, a multitude of questions will soon be hovering over Bonds and Major League Baseball.

Question: What is the grand jury trying to decide?

Answer: "The grand jury does not determine guilt or innocence, but only whether there is probable cause to believe that a crime was committed and that a specific person or persons committed it," according to the handbook for federal grand jurors. "If (at least 12 jurors among the 16) find probable cause to exist, then it will return a written statement of the charges called an 'indictment.' "

Q: What happens next if Bonds is indicted?

A: The judge must sign off. The indictment would be delivered to the clerk's office, and within hours, be made public. Bonds, if not arrested, would have to turn himself into authorities and plead guilty, no contest or stand trial.

Q: Could Bonds be served an indictment at the ballpark?

A: It is unlikely Bonds will be arrested. Instead he will get an opportunity to turn himself in, be arraigned and be released on his own recognizance.

Q: How long will the entire legal process take?

A: At least six months. Bonds could speed up the process by asking for a trial sooner, but that is unlikely.

Q: If Bonds is convicted of perjury and-or tax evasion, could he serve up to five years on each count?

A: It's extremely unlikely, according to attorneys involved in the case. "Five years just makes all of the articles real interesting," Cardoza says. "What did the boys from BALCO get? (Four months for BALCO president Victor Conte and three months for Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson.) Look at Martha Stewart and what she got (five months). I look at something like that, and that's what he's facing.

"It really all depends on how he plays it out. Does he take the stand? Does he tell the truth when he takes the stand? If he goes to trial, goes under oath, and the jury feels like he lied like crazy, the prosecutor would go in and ask for a lot of time. But if he takes care of it nice and early, it won't amount to much."

Q: Why are attorneys involved in the case so certain that an indictment will be handed up?

A: "If a prosecutor is motivated enough and has made a significant investment of government resources," Enos told the Associated Press, "you can indict a ham sandwich."

Enos says the government has "spent millions of dollars, millions, looking for witnesses, chasing down people who knew Barry in 1998, just going down every foxhole they could possibly find. And after four years of investigation and the expenditure of millions of dollars, I suppose they are motivated to try to get an indictment."

Q: In addition to Bell and Hoskins, who else has testified?

A: Arthur Ting, Bonds' personal physician, confirmed he has testified, but his testimony has remained secret. Giants trainer Stan Conte also testified, according to the "San Francisco Chronicle".

Q: Who are the key witnesses against Bonds?

Hoskins and Bell, according to Rains.

Hoskins informed federal agents that Bonds was a heavy steroid user, according to Cardoza, and has detailed records on memorabilia sales.

Bell, who has said she had a nine-year relationship with Bonds, has not revealed what she told the current grand jury, but she testified last year to the BALCO grand jury that Bonds used steroids beginning in 1999, according to the "Chronicle". She also testified that Bonds gave her $80,000 in cash, allegedly from unreported income from memorabilia sales, and instructed her to deposit the money $9,999 at a time to avoid IRS scrutiny, according to the "Chronicle".

Q: Who is Hoskins, and how did he become best friends with Bonds?

A: He is the son of former San Francisco 49ers linebacker Bob Hoskins, who was a friend of Bobby Bonds, Barry's father.

The families lived in San Carlos, Calif. Hoskins studied graphic design and became a commercial artist, and the two were reunited when Bonds signed with the Giants in 1993.

Hoskins, who was working as a shoe salesman at the time, became Bonds' business manager and public relations adviser. He set up a business, Kent Collectibles, to market for Bonds' memorabilia.

Q: Why are Hoskins and Bonds no longer best friends?

A: Bonds reported Hoskins to the FBI in 2003, accusing him of forging his signature and selling his memorabilia without permission.

The FBI investigated the claim. In 2003, FBI agents and Bonds went to the Long Island home of memorabilia collector Jeff Kranz, who says he has more than 4,000 Bonds items, including autographs, game-used bats, gloves, pants and cleats. In 2005, the FBI informed Hoskins it had dropped the investigation, according to Rains and Cardoza.

"Barry was the one who talked to the federal government and started this investigation," Cardoza says. "He got real bad advice from his lawyer. Why would you want to turn your friend in? Why do you want to go to the FBI knowing they will broaden their investigation? It was irrational, arrogant thinking."

Rains could not be reached for comment.

Q: What other evidence does the federal government have against Bonds?

A: There are documents from the 30,000 pages seized as part of the BALCO raid that reflect what prosecutors believe was Bonds' doping cycle, according to the "Chronicle". There also are alleged documents that carry markings for Bonds' initials along with notations for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, including steroids.

Q: Has Bonds admitted to using steroids?

A: No. In his December 2003 grand jury testimony, obtained by the "Chronicle", Bonds said he never knowingly used steroids. He said that Anderson gave him flaxseed oil and arthritis balm known as the "cream" and the "clear," which prosecutors identified as steroids.

Q: What is the status of Anderson, Bonds' former trainer and childhood friend?

A: He pleaded guilty last July to money laundering and distribution of steroids and was sentenced to three months in prison and three months of home confinement.

Anderson, one of four defendants convicted in the federal investigation of BALCO, returned to jail July 5 for refusing to testify before the grand jury.

Q: What will the Giants do if Bonds is indicted?

A: The Giants plan to let the judicial system handle everything but informed Jeff Borris, Bonds' agent, they might not want Bonds back in 2007.

Q: Will this be a major distraction to the Giants?

A: "To tell you the truth, I don't give a s--- about it," Giants manager Felipe Alou told reporters last weekend. "Whatever it is that's associated with Barry is nothing new. We have to go play the game. You can't call timeout."

Q: If Selig suspends Bonds, will the Major League Baseball Players Association challenge it?

A: Donald Fehr, executive director of the union, won't answer the question unless it happens, but an appeal would be highly likely even though Bonds became the first player in 2003 to withdraw from its licensing program.

Q: Does Bonds plan to play in 2007 and try to break Hank Aaron's all-time home run record?

A: Bonds, who told USA TODAY this spring this would be his last season, is waffling. He just gained custody of his 16-year-old son, Nikolai, and said last week he would like to stay home with him. Yet, he hasn't closed the door on playing.

"I can't envision any scenario, other than Barry's health," Borris says, "that would keep him from playing baseball."

Q: Does Bonds, who is 34 homers shy of Aaron, think he can break the record, even if he doesn't hit another homer the rest of the season?

A: Yes. "I'm capable of it," he told reporters last weekend. "Can I predict it? No. But I'm capable of it. There ain't nothing wrong with me. The only one who can stop me is me."

Q: What does Bonds anticipate will happen this week?

A: "Nothing," he told reporters last weekend. "Not even worried about it."

07-19-2006, 08:03 AM
I see that Pete Rose and Barry Bonds now have something in common:)

07-19-2006, 07:57 PM
Ya know, they got Capone that way too.

07-20-2006, 01:53 PM
If indicted, Bonds won't get in Hall

posted: Thursday, July 20, 2006 | Feedback (http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/chatESPN?event_id=6999) | Print Entry (http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/print?id=2524748&type=blogEntry)

On the eve of the day that could change his life dramatically, Barry Bonds was tense in his interview (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/20/sports/baseball/20bonds.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) with reporters. The prospect of going to jail must be foremost in his mind, but if Bonds is indicted today, he will forever take residence in baseball purgatory. I'm convinced that if Bonds is indicted, he will never gain induction into the Hall of Fame, whether or not he's convicted of any federal charges.
A lot of baseball writers I've spoken with are becoming more vigilant on this issue and will not vote for any player linked substantively to steroid use. A lot of baseball writers will never vote for Rafael Palmeiro, for instance, because of the 10-day suspension he received last year. And within days or even hours, it's possible we will see two developments that will serve as the tipping point for some voters.
First: If Bonds is indicted for perjury, what the prosecutors will be saying, in effect, is that they believe Bonds used steroids. For some writers, I suspect that this will be enough.
Secondly: If he's indicted, I think Major League Baseball will take some sort of disciplinary action against him, such as a suspension. And while the union would then challenge the suspension in arbitration -- and in all likelihood, get it overturned, with Bonds not missing so much as a game leading up to a trial -- the fact that Major League Baseball was moved to executive action will, in and of itself, be enough for some writers to never vote for him.
Remember this: If the 1919 Black Sox scandal occurred today, those players would, in likelihood, have been reinstated. They had been acquitted, but commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis ruled that for the good of baseball, the suspected game fixers were banned for life.
Commissioner Bud Selig recently attributed the 2006 increase in attendance, in part, to what he perceived as the fans' belief that Major League Baseball is taking the steroid problem seriously. For that reason, I think he'll take a stand on Bonds, even if he knows any suspension would be appealed and eventually overturned.
It would cost Selig or the sport almost nothing if the commissioner took this step; Bonds already is a damaged star, and baseball began the process of separating itself from the slugger's accomplishments when it opened the Mitchell Investigation. The union would fight a suspension, undoubtedly, but an attempted suspension of Bonds won't affect the ongoing labor negotiations.
So in five or six or seven years, Bonds' name will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot, and writers will consider his candidacy, with all the home runs and RBI and records, and there might be at least two significant events linking him to steroid use -- a federal indictment for perjury and administrative action by Major League Baseball.
And for that reason, more than 25 percent of the writers won't fill in the box next to Bonds' name, no matter if he finishes first or second on the all-time home run list. With 75 percent approval from the voters needed for induction, Bonds won't get into the Hall of Fame. (For the record, I will vote for him, and all of the best players from the Steroid Era. As I've written before, I don't see the logic in not voting for stars whose steroid use has been scrutinized while voting for other stars who I strongly believe took steroids but got a pass. I believe, but can't prove, that 75 to 80 percent of the major awards won since 1988 have been won with the help of performance-enhancing drugs.)

07-20-2006, 01:54 PM
Updated: July 20, 2006, 2:47 PM ET
Grand jury to keep looking at Bonds

Associated Press

http://adsatt.espn.go.com/ad/sponsors/ESPN_In_House_Marketing/Jul_2006/espn-146x46-0033.gif (http://log.go.com/log?srvc=sz&guid=8C9EDAE9-9F0D-4547-8F28-BCB34E24525E&drop=0&addata=1332:53574:241993:65&a=1&goto=http://mobile.espn.go.com/mort/?campaign=mobile&source=ESPN_ROS_146x46_Football_Mort_Advisor_Green )

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/players/profile?statsId=3918) will not be indicted immediately, federal prosecutors said Thursday, but the ongoing grand-jury investigation of steroids and possible perjury and tax-evasion charges against the San Francisco Giants (http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/clubhouse?team=sfo) star will continue.
Speculation had been mounting for weeks that Bonds, one of the biggest names in professional sports, would be indicted, and his lawyers had said they were preparing a defense in the case.
Soon after the grand jury reported to the federal courthouse here to begin what was to be the final day of its probe, the U.S. Attorney's office issued a statement saying it "is not seeking an indictment [Thursday] in connection with the ongoing steroids-related investigation.
"Much has been accomplished to date, and we will continue to move forward actively in this investigation -- including continuing to seek the truthful testimony of witnesses whose testimony the grand jury is entitled to hear," reads the statement from Luke Macaulay, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan.
Mark Geragos, attorney for Bonds' personal trainer Greg Anderson, told The Associated Press his client would be released later in the day from federal prison, where Anderson was sent more than two weeks ago after he refused to testify to the grand jury.
The judge said Anderson was to be held until he agreed to testify against Bonds or the grand jury's term expired. With the grand jury apparently being extended beyond Thursday, it is unclear whether Anderson still will be released.
Prosecutors might seek to put more pressure on Anderson, who likely holds the key to whether perjury charges could stick against Bonds.
He testified in 2003 that he thought substances given to him by Anderson were arthritis balm and flaxseed oil. Authorities suspected the San Francisco Giants slugger was lying and that those items were "the clear" and "the cream" -- two performance-enhancing drugs tied to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the lab exposed as a steroids supplier to top athletes in baseball, track and other sports.
"Obviously, they think they need Greg to prove perjury," Geragos said Wednesday.
Allegations of steroid use long have plagued Bonds, who passed Babe Ruth in May to become second only to Hank Aaron on the career home run list. They intensified in late 2003, when he testified before the original BALCO grand jury, which took testimony from about two dozen athletes.
Without the trainer's help, prosecutors still could indict Bonds on charges alleging he failed to pay taxes on money made through sales of autographs and other memorabilia. There is also the chance Bonds might be indicted on perjury charges without Anderson's testimony.
"I don't think Barry has violated any laws. Under our system, if the government is going to point a finger at him, the government better be well prepared to," Bonds' attorney, Michael Rains, said. "I will do everything in my power to make sure that Barry gets a tenacious and effective defense."
Anderson was one of five men convicted in the steroids scandal surrounding BALCO. He was sentenced to three months behind bars and three months of home confinement in October after pleading guilty to money laundering and steroid distribution.
He was found in contempt of court and jailed again July 5 for refusing to testify in the Bonds probe.
Federal prosecutors say they need Anderson, in part, to interpret calendars that seem to spell out Bonds' schedule for using performance-enhancing drugs. The calendars were seized by investigators from Anderson's home in 2003.

07-20-2006, 02:23 PM
Just to update, the story on Bonds Hall of Fame status should he be indicted was written by ESPN Senior writer Buster Olney and is available on ESPN.com today.