Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Former All-Star Pitcher Jerry Koosman Pleads Guilty to Tax Evasion

From MLB.com:

Former All-Star pitcher Jerry Koosman pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion at a Madison, Wis., hearing on Friday and could face up to a year in prison. Sentencing is set for July 21.

Koosman, who also faces $25,000 in fines, neglected to pay federal income taxes for 2002, '03 and '04, defrauding the government out of as much as $90,000, assistant U.S. attorney John Vaudreuil told The Associated Press.

According to court documents, the IRS learned in '05 that Koosman hadn't filed any returns for 2002, '03 and '04. Using his W-2 wage statements, the IRS determined Koosman earned about $754,950 over those years, including about $130,000 from his Major League Baseball pension and $25,000 in '02 alone for autographs and personal appearances. He also had a stock sale in '02 worth $551,881.

Koosman, who helped led the 1969 Mets to a World Series title, maintained that he thought federal taxes applied only to federal workers, corporate employees and District of Columbia residents, court documents said.

"I guess it's a combination of being naive and not being able to understand law as I read it or was told," Koosman told U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb during Friday's hearing.

Koosman, 66, lives in Osceola, Wis., and retired after the 1985 season. He played in the Majors for 19 seasons, including his first 12 with the Mets, and was an All-Star in '68 and '69. He retired with a career record of 222-209 and a 3.36 ERA.

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