The Justice Department has sued two tax preparers it accuses of selling bogus gold-mining tax deductions to pro football players.

The civil suit accuses Eric J. Peterson of Channelview, Texas, and William H. Camp of Washington, D.C., of selling a scheme called Midas through a firm called Merendon Mining of Colo., and the Institute of Financial Learning of Calgary, Canada. According to the government complaints, in 2003 salespeople from both companies began persuading customers to participate in the Midas scheme by promising them large profits from gold mines in Colorado and Arizona.

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