Sports celebrities and their tax troubles

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The more money people make, in many cases, the more trouble they seem to have turning over what is owed to Uncle Sam. Here's a rundown of several individuals who have enjoyed the fame and fortune in the past, and have now fallen under the much-less-desirable spotlight of the IRS.

Former Mets pitcher, Ron Darling owes $544,197 in state and federal taxes. Darling, a native of Hawaii, has liens filed against him in New York and in California's Contra Costa.  During his 13 season career, he earned $17.9 million .  Turner Sports spokesman Jeff Pomeroy said "we will not comment as this is a personal issue."

Darling is not the only former Mets pitcher to find himself in hot water with the IRS in recent days.  Jerry Koosman who pitched for the 1969 World-Series winning "Miracle Mets" will report to jail on tax evasion charges on November 3rd.  Koosman plead guilty last spring to depriving the government of $90,000 tax on his income from 2002 through 2004.

In 2006 when IRS agents knocked on his door to talk about the missing returns, 66 year-old Koosman brought out three binders of documents that challenged the government's right to levy taxes. Based on his own research and the arguments of others, he now says he was swept up in the arguments made by many that the government does not have the legal right to tax most individuals. 
"I tend to trust people more than I should", he said. "Like most people in their sixties, I've made some bad decisions in my life. I shouldn't have listened to those people about tax returns, but I did, and I take full responsibility."

Koosman was sentenced to six months in jail (half the possible sentence), and a year of supervised release. Meanwhile, he is working with the IRS to pay off the balance of his debt (now roughly $65,000).

Darren McCarty, former Detroit Red Wings player, is waiting to find out his fate, after the IRS charged him with failing to pay $62,189 in federal taxes. 

One lien was filed against him in the amount of $33,847.81, on August 18, for income taxes owed from 2005.
In addition, the IRS filed a second lien for $28,341.53 also on August 18, based on trust fund taxes from 2004-2005. In 2005, McCarty filed bankruptcy he owed $33,653.55 in trust fund taxes to the state and the IRS.

Julio Cesar Chavez-- considered by many to be one of the greatest boxers ever -- is about to go several rounds with the IRS.
The IRS filed two liens against him on August 10th in Maricopa County, Arizona.  The first is for $12,404,422.54 for taxes owed from 1993 through 1998.  The second lien is for $366,262.21, filed on the same day in Maricopa County, for taxes related to 1999 income.  
Chavez retired in 2006 and is currently preparing to open a restaurant and entertainment center in Mesa, Arizona.

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