MIAMI — In a surprise move, multimillionaire industrialist Victor Posner pleaded no contest today to 10 counts of tax evasion and false statements resulting from his overvaluation of the land he donated to a Bible college.
U.S. District Judge Eugene P. Spellman then adjudged him guilty of the charges, ending a bitter court fight that lasted more than five years.
The government alleged he evaded $1.2 million taxes by inflating the value of property he donated to Miami Christian College.
Posner, whose business empire includes Royal Crown Cola and Sharon Steel Corp., remains at liberty on a personal surety bond. In 1985, he was named the highest paid executive in the nation by Business Week magazine.
Posner, 69, appeared before Spellman this morning in a meeting listed as a status conference. After Posner's attorney, Washington lawyer Edward Bennett Williams, offered the plea of no contest, the judge reminded him of its meaning.