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Jury Seated to Try Posner on Tax-Evasion Charges

June 24, 1986|Associated Press

MIAMI — A jury of 11 women and one man was selected Monday to try industrialist Victor Posner on charges of evading $1.2 million in taxes and defrauding the U.S. government.

Posner is accused of artificially inflating the value of a 22-acre tract of land that he donated to Miami Christian College in the mid-1970s. The government contends that he used the inflated figures in taking charitable deductions on his tax returns from 1975 to 1979 and that he owes $1.2 million in income taxes.

Maximum Penalties

Posner faces a single count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government, four counts of tax evasion and five counts of making false statements. He faces a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment on each count if convicted.

The chief prosecuting attorney is Assistant U.S. Atty. K. Chris Todd of New York, where the indictment against the 67-year-old Posner was first returned in 1982. Todd was slated to make an opening statement to the jury this morning.

Edward Bennett Williams is Posner's chief counsel.

An alleged co-conspirator, William Scharrer, head of a Miami realty firm, was convicted Aug. 10, 1984, on four counts of aiding and abetting Posner.

Sentenced to Prison

He was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Eugene P. Spellman, who also is presiding in the current case.

Posner and Scharrer originally were tried together, but Spellman granted Posner a separate trial nine days before Scharrer's conviction.

Posner, who is estimated to have a personal fortune in excess of $100 million, controls a network of more than 40 companies that form a $4-billion empire, several parts of which are facing financial trouble.

On Friday, a federal bankruptcy hearing was held for Evans Products Co., which is 42.5% owned by Posner's NVF Co.

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