NBA REFS AWAIT POSSIBLE NEW ROUND OF INDICTMENTS BY THE IRS
"Many of the [NBA's] referees say they think the IRS is
mounting another charge at several of them," according to
Dwight Jaynes of the Portland OREGONIAN. One NBA ref:
"There are still about 25 of us under investigation, and we
think another 15 could be indicted by April 15." But Jaynes
wrote that "there is an assertion by some that the actual
amount of taxes owed is not enough to merit the heat of this
investigation." One ref said George Tolliver, a former ref
indicted last year, "owed tax of about $10,000. But he lost
his job and his ability to repay the debt. ... People owe
much more in taxes than that all the time and don't get
prosecuted." Two refs also told Jaynes that the NBA "had a
part" in the investigation and added, "They knew what we
were doing and, in fact, used it against us in collective
bargaining. It was a way for them to pay us more money
without having to pay various payroll taxes on that money.
Now they are doing nothing to help us." But Jaynes wrote of
"speculation" that NBA Commissioner David Stern is waiting
for the investigation to end and "then will contemplate some
kind of amnesty program." NBA Senior VP Rod Thorn: "David
has said publicly this isn't necessarily a death sentence.
But he hasn't said it isn't either" (OREGONIAN, 3/10).
THE OTHER REF: NEW YORK's Barbara Campbell profiles
Sandra Ortiz-Del Valle, who filed a $1M gender
discrimination suit against the NBA, "which declined to hire
her as a ref despite her seventeen years of experience." NBA
League Counsel Jeffrey Mishkin said that Ortiz-Del Valle
"did not" meet the NBA's standards. Ortiz-Del Valle has
rejected two NBA settlement offers, first $25,000, then
$75,000, "in favor of her day in court" (NEW YORK, 3/98).