Whittington Brothers Receive Prison Terms

Associated Press

Two car racing brothers and the heir to a furniture fortune pleaded guilty Friday to filing false income tax returns to cover proceeds of a multimillion-dollar drug ring. The brother, Bill Whittington, who allegedly headed the ring agreed to a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

Bill Whittington also agreed in a plea-bargaining arrangement to forfeit personal assets of $7 million, while the son of the co-founder of Levitz Furniture agreed to forfeit $1 million.

William M. (Bill) Whittington, 37, a five-time veteran of the Indianapolis 500, pleaded guilty to charges he operated a multi-ton marijuana-smuggling ring between 1977 and 1981 and that he filed false income tax returns for the years 1979, ’80 and ’81.


Under the plea-bargain terms, which were accepted by U.S. District Judge Jose Gonzalez, Bill Whittington has agreed to a sentence of 15 years, of which he must serve 60 months regardless of the parole guidelines.

Reginald (Don) Whittington Jr., 40, pleaded guilty to a count of filing a false income tax return for 1979 and a second count of conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. He agreed to a sentence of 18 months.

Gary R. Levitz, 47, pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return in 1980 and a second count of conspiring to defraud the IRS. His plea bargain arrangement includes an 18-month sentence and a forfeiture of $1 million in personal assets.

All three men were allowed to remain free after each posted $50,000 surety bonds.