Grand Jury Indicts Promoter for Allegedly Helping Coach, Athletes With False Tax Returns

United Press International

A federal grand jury Monday indicted a sports promoter for allegedly helping 47 people, including a former Flyers coach and two Philadelphia Eagles players, to prepare false federal income tax returns.

The indictment charges Mark Stewart, 42, of Atlantic City, N.J., sold tax shelters to 47 investors, who under-reported their income by at least $2.8 million and under-reported their federal taxes by at least $1.3 million during 1980 and 1981.

Among the investors named were former Flyers coach Fred Shero and the Philadelphia Eagles' Jerry Robinson and Reggie Wilkes.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Walter Batty Jr. said none of the investors was charged with "intentional participation in the crime." He would not say if criminal charges would be filed. The investigation was continuing.

The indictment charges Stewart formed five limited partnerships starting in 1970 involving Philadelphia area properties.

Stewart then provided the investors with Internal Revenue Service forms that showed they had invested more money than they actually had in the partnerships and so the investors were able to take inflated deductions, the indictment said.

According to Batty, a partner is usually prohibited from taking any deduction in an amount greater than the amount invested by the partner.

Shero allegedly reported a total loss of $136,373 for the two years, but the IRS allowed only $56,669 in deductions. According to the government, Shero owes more than $39,000 in additional taxes.

Robinson claimed losses totaling more than $85,000 for two years, none of which was allowed. He has been billed for more than $44,000 in additional taxes.

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