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Former Ark. Gov. Must Pay for Scheme

May 17, 1999

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) _ Former Gov. Jim Guy Tucker, whose shady financial deals got caught up in the Whitewater investigation, was ordered today to pay $1 million for setting up a sham bankruptcy to avoid taxes.

Tucker, who pleaded guilty in February 1998, was also ordered placed on four years’ probation for hiding the value of a cable TV business he sold in 1988.

Prosecutors said that if the company’s real value was known, Tucker and business partner William Marks would have been liable for an additional $2.9 million in taxes.

Tucker said he would appeal the sentence and order of restitution, which is to be paid to the federal government. Marks was also ordered to pay $1 million.

``There was no tax loss to the government that I benefited from,″ Tucker said after sentencing, arguing that the government owed him federal income tax credits.

Tucker’s business dealings came under scrutiny as part of the federal investigation into the Whitewater land deal, a failed development in which President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton were investors.

He served 18 months of home detention after being convicted of fraud and conspiracy with James and Susan McDougal, President Clinton’s former business partners. Tucker had lied to arrange nearly $3 million in fraudulent loans, prosecutors alleged.

He is fighting to have that conviction overturned, saying a juror was biased against him. As part of his plea bargain in the cable case, prosecutors will not retry him if his initial conviction is thrown out.

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