Former All-Star baseball pitcher Jerry Koosman received a six-month sentence for not paying his federal income taxes for 2002-2004.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb said that Koosmans failure to pay taxes cost the federal government up to $80,000, but she added that it was "a serious blemish on an otherwise outstanding life." Koosman, 66, faced up to a year in prison, but the judge instead sentenced him to half that time and added a year of supervised release, according to the Associated Press. He still owes $65,000 in back taxes, although he has filed the missing returns. He is scheduled to begin his prison sentence November 3.
Koosman pleaded guilty in May (see Pitcher Koosman to Plead Guilty to Tax Charges). In court, he admitted that he had been persuaded by the arguments of tax protesters and his own research, which had convinced him that only employees of the federal government and corporations, and residents of the District of Columbia, had to pay taxes.
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 shouldnt have listened to those people about tax returns, but I did, and I take full responsibility.
Koosman pitched for 19 years in the major leagues, between 1967 and 1985. The lefthander was first signed by the New York Mets and was the star pitcher of the Miracle Mets in their win over the Baltimore Orioles in the 1969 World Series. He later pitched for the Mets in the 1973 World Series, which they lost to the Oakland Athletics.
Koosman signed with the Minnesota Twins in 1978, and later played for the Toronto Blue Jays, the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies. He was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 1989.
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