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Later in the article Bishop stated, "I did get paid a large fee, but as far as I'm concerned I earned it." The Hoechst Celanese case is apparently the source of the $933,333 fee cited by the feds in the indictment.
Bishop and Cosper also have sued the IRS, claiming they filed an amended tax return in 1994 that overstated their income. As a result, they paid $78,108 more than they owed. Bishop filed for a refund and then sued when the IRS did not return the money.
Bishop claims the IRS is persecuting him with the indictment, as retaliation for the lawsuit and because his wife is a public official. "I paid the money," he told the Chronicle. "I don't owe any money. They owe me money." According to Bishop, his accountant explained it all to the IRS but died in 1998.
Whereas Bishop blames the tax man for creating his problems, another source familiar with Bishop's situation believes his current legal problems were triggered by a source closer to home. Bishop had an unamicable divorce from former wife Martha in 1991, paying $140,000 to get a settlement agreement. The feds claim that payment came from Bishop's hidden farm account. When the ex-wife learned about the hefty account, suggests this source, it didn't take long for the IRS to get wind of it as well.
The Bishop tax evasion trial is expected to last about a month. As for character witnesses, it's a safe bet Russell Lloyd's name won't be on the list.
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