PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ The city's former chief revenue examiner and seven other men have been charged in an alleged payoff scheme that cost the city almost $1 million in lost taxes in overlooked or reduced tax bills.

The practice of city officials soliciting bribes from businesses owing taxes ''goes back some 20 years,'' said U.S. Attorney Edward S.G. Dennis Jr. ''It was a practice engaged in by a substantial number of employees.''

The eight indicted Tuesday included six city employees who altered businesses' tax returns in return for $145,000 in payoffs over the past five years, federal officials said.

Named in indictments and informations along with former chief revenue examiner Yale Green were his assistant and four other city employees, all charged with taking bribes. Two private accountants were charged with mail fraud and making unlawful payments.

Green, 63, was responsible for the audit and review of returns for the city's net profits tax, wage tax, general business tax and mercantile tax.

Dennis said the indictments alleged that employees of the Revenue Department began accepting bribes as early as 1968.

Amy Kurland, an assistant U.S. attorney prosecuting the case, said revenue examiners split the payoffs with supervisors who assigned the cases.

Dennis and FBI agent Wayne Davis said that after receiving a bribe, a revenue examiner would prepare a false audit report indicating a business owed little or no taxes, when in fact substantial taxes may have been due.

''The acountants are generally charged with paying bribes to the revenue examiners on behalf of their taxpayer clients,'' Dennis said.

Green also faces trial on state charges of tampering with records to eliminate a $34,834 tax bill owed by Anthony Trombetta, who the Pennsylvania Crime Commission says is one of the largest pornography dealers in the area.

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