Michael Jackson's former manager admits tax evasion

McClatchy NewspapersJune 22, 2011 

WASHINGTON — The former general manager and spokeswoman for the late pop star Michael Jackson admitted her guilt Wednesday in federal court on two counts of failing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.

In plea documents filed Wednesday, Raymone Bain acknowledged neglecting to pay income taxes to the IRS and the District of Columbia from 2006 to 2008. She specifically pleaded guilty to charges related to her unpaid 2008 taxes.

Bain started working for Jackson in 2006. She was responsible for managing his daily financial, marketing and public relations operations.

Bain, who will be sentenced on Aug. 31, faces a maximum prison term of 12 months for the federal charge and six months for the Washington criminal violation, along with a maximum combined fine of $105,000. She also agreed to pay back taxes to the IRS and the District of Columbia.

Because she negotiated a plea bargain, Bain probably will receive a much-reduced sentence compared with what she would have received had she fought the charges and lost.

Federal officials involved in the case declined to comment. Bain's lawyer, Fred Cooke, declined to comment when reached by McClatchy. But in earlier comments to The Washington Post, he said, "Raymone is probably guilty of tending to other people's issues more than her own," but "absolutely, positively" accepted responsibility for her actions.

"The Office of Tax and Revenue, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney's Office, will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute tax fraud and evasion cases, in the interest of protecting District revenue and bringing violators to justice," said Natalie Wilson, a spokeswoman for the District of Columbia tax office.

Jackson, known as the "king of pop," died June 25, 2009, after an overdose of the prescription anesthesia drug propofol.

His resident physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, pleaded not guilty in February 2010 to charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Jackson's death. His trial is scheduled to start this September.

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