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Not So Shocking News: Milton Street Owes Back Taxes

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111208street2.jpg The mayor released a list of the city’s Top 50 Tax Deadbeats, and it looks like the Nelson Medical Group and the defunct law firm of Edward David, Charles Fitzpatrick and John Fitzpatrick will be meeting in the National Championship Game. Man, can’t we just have a playoff system already?

The list is actually pretty hilarious if you’re a huge nerd and easily amused. Naturally, I’m falling out of my chair at the office laughing at some of this stuff. What’s Super Shuttle Management Inc. and why does it owe 1.13 million in back taxes? Why are there so many electric companies on this list but not one water works? How did Big George’s Stop ‘N’ Dine get on their twice? What the hell is the Main Diner, Inc. a/k/a Vega Grill?

Most importantly, though, our old pal Milton Street is on the list! Neil Stein made it, too, though he’s nearly at the top and has a good chance at making it to a BCS bowl this year.

Nutter Publicizes City’s Tax Deadbeats [Clout]

Milton Street: 30 Months

Today, T. Milton Street was sentenced to 30 months in prison for failing to file tax returns for three years.

Since launching for PW in August 2005, Philadelphia Will Do has seen its share of guys and gals who really went above and beyond in their commitment to Philadelphia. Philly has an extensive history of incredible characters, the famous and the infamous, who make this (as some stupid blog’s tagline likes to say) the funniest city on earth. These people looked at that list, shook their heads and said, “Oh, I can top that.”

Think about it: Milton Street. Rick Mariano. Larry Mendte and Alycia Lane. Jocelyn “Bonnie” Kirsch. The list goes on, but it’s Friday and I’m tired. But many (if not most!) of the great Philadelphia characters I’ve written about the past three years have ended up in serious legal trouble. Some have been convicted. Some have gone to prison.

This makes sense, as all the best Philadelphia characters in history are felonious — or at least approaching it. But it is a big strange that so many people I’ve written about have been arrested, convicted, imprisoned, cited, hacked, whatever. Yes, a media-obsessed blog like mine focuses on who’s in the news and the news loves criminals. But if I were, say, Ron Paul or Kerri-Lee Halkett, I wouldn’t even speed anymore.

The 69-year-old Milton must also pay $413,000 in back taxes, money he will easily be able to earn once he comes out of prison a convicted felon in his 70s.

T. Milton Street ordered to prison, pay back taxes [Inquirer]
Photo by Kyle Cassidy used under a Creative Commons License

D-Day For Milton

Hey! Our buddy Milton Street gets sentenced today; he could end up in jail for up to three years. And Brian Hickey has a great interview with the man up on PW. While I’m catching up on a few things you should totally read it.

Milton: No Such Thing As Taxes

Fox’s Good Day Philadelphia showed Steve Keeley’s interview with everyone’s favorite member of the Street family, Milton, this morning at some ungodly hour. Milt talked more about his protest of the income tax, a view the Inquirer found somebody to compare to the Holocaust:

Daniel B. Evans, a trust and estate lawyer in Philadelphia, has called these protesters “tax deniers.” “Just like Holocaust deniers attempt to rationalize and justify their refusal to accept an indisputable historical fact… tax deniers attempt to rationalize and justify their refusal to accept indisputable historical facts,” Evans writes on a Web page he has maintained on the subject since the 1990s.

Evans’ Tax Protester FAQ even has its own webspace! Since it’s been around since the 1990s, I figured it’d be something like geocities.com/SiliconValley/Heights/4885/.

Closing arguments in the Milton Street trial are today. Only a short time before Uncle Milty walks out of court a free man and celebrates by opening up a hot dog cart.

Did Milton Just Save Himself?

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Oh, Milton.

The Milton Street trial had gotten a little boring. Okay, two Neiman Marcus employees testified Street bought $11,000 worth of merchandise in cash — but it was at King of Prussia, not Franklin Mills. (Ex-mayor John Street goes to the movies there.)

The rest of the trial, we got testimony that led to reports like this: “Others, such as Rose DiOttavio, president of CoreCare Behavioral Health Management Inc., which operates the Kirkbride Center psychiatric hospital in West Philadelphia, testified that Street was paid $5,000 in 2001 to try to arrange a payment schedule for the company’s large debt to the Philadelphia Gas Works and an additional $18,000 to do the same with the city on its back taxes.” See? That’s about as interesting as one can make that sentence.

But — Hallelujah! — Street testified, and it was like March in Moorestown all over again. People were flocking to the scene to see the show. (Again, think of how great a city we’d be with City Councilman Milton Street all over the news.)

Milton somehow became a tax resister yesterday, saying he had examined the evidence and decided there’s no requirement for citizens to pay a federal income tax. The courts have routinely and unanimously thrown out any “tax protester” claims, ranging from alternate readings, things like “the state of Ohio didn’t ratify the 16th Amendment” and wild conspiracy theories. Me, I’d guess Milton is trying to emulate actor Wesley Snipes (pictured). Yes, even though the courts have consistently ruled against tax protesters, Snipes got off earlier this month. (Ron Paul pays his taxes, as far as I know; he just wants to eliminate them once he’s president.)

Street based his tax protest on the “OMB control number argument,” which is point 4.4 on Wikipedia’s list of statutory tax protester arguments. Basically, some tax forms don’t contain a number from the Office of Management and Budget control, and some people think this allows them to not have to pay their taxes. Are you really surprised that, among all the tax protest arguments Street could have chosen, he chose one of the stupidest?

Later, Street said if someone just showed him the law, he would plead guilty. Then he called all of the prosecution’s witnesses liars. Oh, and he got a black bag full of cash in a hotel like he was a college basketball recruit.

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Primetime Will Do: Thanks, Milton

When I’m feeling down (especially when it’s for no reason other than maybe “it’s been dark out”), I think sometimes these jokes come off as sounding really angry. Forget that! And just in time, Milton went all Ron Paul on the court and claimed there’s no such thing as the income tax. Regardless of the merits of Street’s argument, it’s already been deemed invalid by the courts. This doesn’t bode well for poor Milt. But, hey, maybe he can chill with Wesley Snipes or something.

For a while the trial was getting boring. It was all tax code and fraud and nothing all that fun. Then, suddenly, Milton takes the stand and, WHAM!, hilarity. And people didn’t think he deserved at least a City Council spot? It would have been incredible.

Milton Street’s Trial Has Begun!

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Apparently Milton Street isn’t the celebrity I thought he was, as jury selection only took one day. Testimony begins today in the ex-mayor’s brother’s fraud trial.

So here’s the backstory; this is summed up the best I’ve seen it so far:

Later in 2002, court records show, PAS awarded a subcontract to Street’s company Notlim Service Management. The subcontract, worth up to $3.2 million, was to maintain the airport’s baggage conveyor systems, Jetways, and passenger transport vehicles. It was work in which Notlim - Milton spelled backward - had no experience. The solution, prosecutors allege, was for Notlim to hire PAS workers already doing the work and get $166,000 monthly as a minority subcontractor. Notlim then reimbursed PAS $133,000 for using its employees, according to prosecutors, and Street pocketed the $33,000 balance.

But in June 2003, when Philadelphia news media published accounts of the Notlim airport deal, Milton Street announced his withdrawal from the relationship at his brother’s request, saying it would “raise questions about the appropriateness of the subcontract because of my relationship to the mayor.” To replace that lost income, prosecutors allege, Street, aided by Velardi, defrauded Thanh Nguyen, owner of V-Tech Services Inc., a facilities maintenance firm. Street allegedly got more than $80,000 from Nguyen by promising him Notlim’s $3.2 million airport subcontract - despite the fact that the business relationship no longer existed.

Oh, Milton. The trial was scheduled to start at 9:15 this morning, so it should already be rolling! Don’t worry; yours truly will be heading over to the trial sometime next week.

Testimony to start in Milton Street’s federal fraud trial [Inquirer]

Milton On Trial: It Begins Today!

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It’s an Ash Wednesday miracle! Jury selection begins today in the trial of New Jersey’s Milton Street, with opening arguments expected as early as this afternoon.

Milton is not charged with impersonating a public figure or making up a story that all the people attending his rally were shot and couldn’t make it. He’s accused of using the influence of his brother to get money for doing nothing. Then, to top it off, he allegedly didn’t pay any taxes on it.

Milton said last year the charges against him were political (or, rather, “politics”) while discussing these charges and the city’s attempt to get back taxes from him: “I’m saying to you that the city solicitor has an invested interest in this election. And his interest is that I don’t get elected. And he came out with these false allegations…. The government will never in a thousand years prove that I had two million dollars. They’ll never prove that. Never, never, never, never, never, never, never!”

The two people who lost to Milton Street in the City Council primary last May remain in hiding.

Milton Street Set to Go to Trial on Fraud and Tax Charges [KYW 1060]
Milton Street Blasts City’s Tax Case Against Him [KYW 1060]

2008 Brings Triumphant Return Of Milton

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Ohh, Milton! After dropping out of the public eye for many months after defeating only two candidates in the Democratic City Council At-Large primary, Milton Street is back!

By “Milton’s back”, of course, I mean the federal government is preparing for the fraud and tax evasion trial of the mayor’s brother. But, hey, same thing!

Friday, prosecutors filed court papers detailing their plan to nab Ol’ Uncle Milty. They’re prepared to call 47 witnesses, including Milton’s son (Thomas Milton Street Junior!) and a “woman familiar with Street’s wagering practices at Philadelphia Turf Club,” according to the Daily News. (You see? Barbaro is involved with this case, too.)

Connie Little, a former top aide to the mayor, could testify about money paid to Milton Street from Mayor Street’s campaign! All in all, it’s going to be a great little trial, and you can expect Philadelphia Will Do to cover it with the furor of an Alycia Lane uppercut.

Sylvester Johnson Steals Idea From… Milton Street?!

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Feb. 21, Philadelphia Will Do, “Milton Street Continues Baffling Campaign“:

Yesterday, Street came up with a kickoff plan for his mayoral candidacy: A March 1 rally outside City Hall where he expects 5,000 people to show up to support his Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol-inspired plan to deputize ordinary Philadelphia citizens and give them police powers.

Today, Daily News, “Commish: I need 10,000 black men“:

Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson is joining with civic leaders in an effort to recruit 10,000 black men to fight crime in Philadelphia’s toughest neighborhoods.

Dubbed “A Call to Action: 10,000 men - It’s a New Day,” the effort will begin Oct. 21 with a rally and recruitment drive at the Liacouras Center, followed days afterward by the training of the volunteers to act as community “peacekeepers.”

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