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Skater Sentenced for Tax Evasion

January 6, 1998

BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ Professional figure skater Gary Beacom has been sentenced to 21 months in prison for failure to pay over $187,000 in federal taxes during the early 1990s.

In sentencing the Canadian on Monday, U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge called Beacom his ``own worst enemy″ for representing himself during the October trial and the sentencing and for refusing advice from friends and others.

Beacom, who has been living in Sun Valley, was immediately taken into custody because federal authorities considered him a flight risk.

He said he would appeal his conviction to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In addition to prison time, Beacom was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine along with the $187,000 in taxes he owes on more than $650,000 in income for 1992, 1993 and 1994 and another $134,000 on income the Internal Revenue Service estimates he earned in 1995 and 1996.

Lodge placed Beacom on three years supervised probation after he completes the prison term, but federal officials said they expected the skater to be deported back to Canada when he is released.

Beacom claims federal prosecutors did not prove he owed income tax under the Constitution and refused to allow him to argue that he does not.

Jurors, however, agreed with prosecutors that Beacom attempted to evade taxes by closing his bank account in March, 1993 and opening accounts in April and July, 1993 with a company operating as a bank that avoided using client names. The jury also found that Beacom urged people paying him to file tax forms under names other than his or not file them at all.

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