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California tax delinquents list includes notable names

Cnet co-founder Halsey Minor, 'Baywatch' actress Pamela Anderson, 'Girls Gone Wild' founder Joseph Francis and boxer James N. Toney owe past-due taxes, California says.

April 14, 2012|By Marc Lifsher and Scott Wilson, Los Angeles Times
  • Cnet co-founder Halsey Minor, shown in 1996, and his wife owe California $10.5 million in delinquent taxes, state officials say.
Cnet co-founder Halsey Minor, shown in 1996, and his wife owe California… (Lawrence K. Ho, Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO — Halsey M. Minor, the Cnet co-founder and a high-tech business pioneer of the 1990s, tops the state of California's latest list of its 500 biggest income-tax delinquents.

Minor and his wife, Shannon, both of San Francisco, owe California $10.5 million, tax officials reported Friday. Minor did not respond to telephone messages seeking comment.

Minor's wasn't the only quickly recognizable name on the state list. Former Playboy model and "Baywatch" actress Pamela D. Anderson of Woodland Hills owes $524,241 in state income taxes, the list says. "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joseph Francis and boxer James N. Toney also were identified.

A new California law that took effect Jan. 1 requires income tax authorities twice a year to update and publish the names and amounts owed by the 500 largest income-tax delinquents.

In all, the 500 owe the state about $233 million. The entire list is available on the Internet at http://www.ftb.ca.gov.

Minor started the tech media website Cnet before the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s. Since then, he has been involved in other companies, including Minor Ventures, a venture capital firm that invested in early-state tech and media firms.

Actress Anderson has a payment plan and is expected to clear her April 2009 lien by the end of this year, tax attorney Robert Leonard told the Wall Street Journal last year. Leonard declined a request for comment Friday.

In addition to Minor, the top 5 on California's tax-delinquent list are:

• Mon B. and Mimi Hom of Los Angeles, $6 million. State tax officials filed a lien March 14, 1995. On Aug. 22, 1999, the California Bar Assn. suspended Mon B. Hom for two years, saying he failed to maintain client funds in trust.

• Brian A. and Kathleen A. Kenner of Julian, $5.8 million. The state filed a lien Feb. 12, 2010. The Kenners were the owners of Kenner Ranch, an equestrian facility in the mountains of San Diego County. They have sued the Internal Revenue Service, saying that they are victims of federal government racketeering.

• Baldomero DeLeon Jr. of Walnut Creek, $4 million. A lien was filed Jan. 6, 2009. DeLeon, a medical doctor, was president of the Muir/Diablo Medical Group when he was placed on probation by the state Medical Board from 1995 to 2001. The probation period has been completed.

• Randall E. Cohn of Los Angeles, $4 million. A lien was filed June 23, 2009. The owner of a Beverly Hills car dealership, Cohn was convicted in a 2005 fraud case in which he was accused of operating a high-end used car dealership in Van Nuys that defrauded 27 people out of nearly $2 million.

Other notable names on the list include:

• Edra Blixseth of Beverly Hills, $3.2 million. A lien was filed Oct. 16, 2008. Blixseth, a onetime timber mogul, recently sold her Rancho Mirage estate to tech billionaire Larry Ellison for a reported $42.9 million. Blixseth has filed for personal bankruptcy in California, Oregon and Montana. She is a defendant in at least 24 federal court cases in eight states as well as at least 19 lawsuits in state courts in at least two states.

• Lamont H. and Barbara U. Dozier of Tarzana, $2.9 million. A lien was filed Aug. 18, 2008. Lamont Dozier was part of the 1960s Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland.

• Joseph Francis of Los Angeles, $794,000. The state filed a lien June 30, 2011. Francis, founder of the raunchy video series "Girls Gone Wild," in 2008 pleaded no contest to child abuse and prostitution charges under an agreement with Florida prosecutors.

• Anthony P. Brooklier of Los Angeles, $781,000. A lien was filed Sept. 26, 1996. Brooklier was a controversial attorney who defended his father, Dominic Brooklier, a Los Angeles mob boss who died in prison in 1984.

• James N. Toney of Sherman Oaks, $354,000. A lien was filed Jan. 7, 2008. Toney is a professional boxer who has held world titles in the middleweight, super-middleweight and cruiserweight divisions.

• Nicholas R. Cassavetes of Los Angeles, $273,000. A lien was filed June 16, 2010. Cassavetes is an actor, filmmaker and screenwriter.

California's new law requires officials to publicize the names of those owing more than $100,000 in delinquent taxes. The measure also authorizes the Franchise Tax Board to publish the names and titles of corporate officers of listed companies as well as delinquent taxpayers' professional license information, if any.

Starting in July, the law will give officials the power to strip delinquent taxpayers of their professional licenses, including those of physicians and lawyers. Delinquents could also have their driver's licenses suspended.

So far this year, the Franchise Tax Board says it has collected more than $25 million in payments from individuals and businesses who wanted to prevent their tax debts from being published.

Delinquent taxpayers who want to resolve their problems with the state should call (888) 426-8555 for individuals and (888) 426-8751 for businesses.

marc.lifsher@latimes.com

scott.wilson@latimes.com

Lifsher reported from Sacramento and Wilson from Los Angeles. Times staff writers Anthony York, James Granelli and Lauren Beale contributed to this report.

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