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Lawyer Cleared of Helping Tycoon Evade Taxes

August 13, 2004|From a Times Staff Writer

A Georgia lawyer has been acquitted by a Los Angeles federal judge of charges that he helped a onetime herbal remedy tycoon evade millions of dollars in personal income taxes.

The verdict by U.S. District Judge Margaret M. Morrow was made public this week. It followed a nonjury trial in which William E. Frantz was accused of tax evasion and conspiracy.

Frantz prepared tax returns for Almon Glenn Braswell, founder of Gero Vita International, once a major manufacturer and distributor of herbal remedy products.

Braswell is to be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to evading millions of dollars in corporate income taxes by listing false expenses on the company's books.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday August 18, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 47 words Type of Material: Correction
Braswell case -- An article Friday in the California section said herbal remedy magnate Almon Glenn Braswell, who pleaded guilty this year to evading payment of corporate income taxes, had been denied a presidential pardon for a 1980s fraud conviction. President Clinton granted the pardon in 2001.

Braswell, a former Marina del Rey resident, gained notoriety three years ago when it was disclosed that he had paid President Clinton's brother-in-law, Hugh Rodham, $200,000 to lobby the White House for a pardon from a 1980s fraud conviction. The pardon was never granted.

Frantz's attorneys had long contended that their client was unfairly swept up in the investigation of Braswell's financial manipulations.

"This verdict totally vindicates Bill," said his attorney, Tom Pollack.

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