SBD/19/Law Politics

REPORT HAS JOE MONTANA LINKED TO MEMORABILIA PROBE

     Federal officials are investigating a 1981 autograph signing
by Joe Montana as part of an ongoing probe of the sports
memorabilia business, according to a report in this morning's
N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  The signing took place in a San Francisco hotel
and was arranged by Michael Bertolini, who has already pleaded
guilty to tax fraud in another case.  Montana's attorney, Rob
Mezetti, said he has not been contacted by any investigators, but
claims that if cash was involved, Montana declared any profits to
the IRS.  Bertolini:  "I'm not saying anything about nothing
about nobody" (Smith & Madden, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/19).
     COMMENTARY:  On ESPN's "SportsReporters," Bill Conlin said
if the feds target all baseball players who have taken cash under
the table for signing autographs, there would have to be a
"baseball-only prison" (ESPN, 12/18).  David Letterman comparing
the tax-cut plans offered in Washington:  "I think the favorite
for all Americans is the Darryl Strawberry tax cut plan" ("Late
Show," CBS, 12/16).
     MORE MEMORABILIA NEWS:  Upper Deck Authenticated is closing
down its catalog business and its Universal City store.  The
company will focus its efforts on a smaller core of athletes and
concentrate on third-party catalogs, dealers and TV shopping
shows (THE BRILL REPORT, 12/19 issue).
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