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The State

October 06, 1988

A former associate accused San Francisco attorney Melvin Belli of lying by telling the Internal Revenue Service that he sold his Belli Building to his son, Caesar, seven years ago. Vasilios Choulos, who broke up with Belli in 1981, testified in U.S. Tax Court that Belli actually gave the Montgomery Street property to his son in 1978 as a 21st birthday gift, which would involve a greater tax liability. Belli could be ordered to pay more than $3 million in back taxes and penalties if the IRS proves its case. Choulos claims that he was beaten and thrown down a stairway when he parted from Belli, who is being sued for $10 million over the alleged incident.

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