Former Gov.'s Restitution Lowered

December 11, 2003  -- Posted at 7:44 AM CDT

LITTLE ROCK, AR  --A federal judge has cut the amount of back taxes owed by former Governor Jim Guy Tucker in a Whitewater case.

Tucker had been ordered to pay one  million dollars. But the amount was cut to 63-thousand dollars after prosecutors acknowledged a different law should have been used to calculate damages.

Tucker and two co-defendants pleaded guilty to conspiring to impeding the Internal Revenue Service.

Prosecutors say the three arranged a sham bankruptcy to reduce their tax liability on the sale of a cable television business in 1988. At issue was which law should have been used to establish the amount of taxes owed.

Tucker told The Associated Press that the government's acknowledgment that the newer law should be used also meant that Whitewater prosecutors, either deliberately or accidentally, misled grand jurors by using the old law when pursuing his indictment in 1995.

Former deputy Whitewater prosecutor W- Hickman Ewing says documents show an intent to break the law by Tucker.

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