Frontiere Agrees to Plead Guilty in Ticket Scalping
Entertainment industry composer Dominic Frontiere has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges that he failed to report to the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars he made scalping tickets to the 1980 Super Bowl game featuring the Los Angeles Rams, a team owned by his wife.
Frontiere, 55, is scheduled to enter his guilty plea Wednesday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
Under the terms of an agreement he and his attorneys filed with the court on Monday, the Emmy award-winning composer agreed to plead guilty to two counts of a three-count indictment returned against him last June.
The counts to which he said he will plead guilty charge that:
--He and his wife, Georgia, reported income of $397,000 in 1980 on their joint income tax return, while Dominic knew they should have reported additional hundreds of thousands of dollars he made scalping tickets. Georgia Frontiere was not charged in the case.
--They claimed a false deduction of $116,335 in tickets given away free for the game, played at the Rose Bowl, when he knew the tickets had been sold, not given away.
--He lied to Internal Revenue Service investigators when he told them he personally had received only about 200 Super Bowl tickets, most of which he had given to friends, when the truth was that he received thousands of tickets and sold most of them at prices far above their face value through Raymond Cohen, a convicted thief.
Warning on Comments
However, one of Frontiere’s attorneys, Richard Marmaro, explained that “the plea to count one and count two does not mean he is pleading guilty to each and every allegation in count one and two.” He declined to be more specific, citing a warning to attorneys from Judge William Keller to guard their comments to the media.
Frontiere faces a maximum penalty of eight years imprisonment and a $15,000 fine, and a minimum penalty of probation.
Asked whether the proposed guilty plea would mean the end of a Super Bowl ticket scalping inquiry that began more than five years ago, the prosecutor, U.S. Justice Department tax attorney Richard Leon, said “I can’t comment on that.”
Says Money Was Extorted
Frontiere, whose case was scheduled to go to trial next week, has claimed through his attorneys in pretrial court papers that he did not report the income in part because Cohen extorted most of the money from him, invoking the name of a reputed organized crime figure to frighten him.
The papers also said Frontiere was aware that, because of a large one-time operating loss, the additional income would not have resulted in he and his wife owing more income taxes.
Leon acknowledged in the plea agreement that there was no additional tax due.