Saturday, February 26, 2011
Nearly four years after receiving an undisclosed settlement from Duke University, Reade Seligmann, one of three lacrosse players exonerated in a racially-charged rape case, owes the IRS almost $6.5 million in taxes, according to public records.
The 24-year-old New Jersey native's lawyer disputes the tax bill, however.
According to a tax lien filed Feb. 17 in New York City, Seligmann owes $6,492,377 in income taxes from 2007. That's the same year Seligmann reached the settlement with Duke.
The amount of the settlement has never been disclosed and is an enduring mystery in one of the most divisive scandals in college sports history. Tax lawyer Jeffrey Freeman of Birmingham, Mich., said someone would have to make about $20 million in one year to generate a $6.5 million tax bill.
The Detroit News asked Seligmann lawyer Richard Emery if the former Duke player received $6.49 million from the university or if the amount represented the taxable portion of the settlement. He also was asked if the Duke settlement was the basis of the tax lien. Emery said "no" and that the amount was inaccurate.
In general, people don't have to pay taxes on settlements stemming from personal injuries, said Freeman, who specializes in civil and criminal tax cases. People generally have to pay taxes on settlements stemming from emotional distress, depression and other symptoms.
- Daily Mail, Were the Duke Lacrosse Players Wrongly Accused of Rape Paid $20 Million Each in Secret Settlement?
- New York Daily News, IRS Claims Former Duke Lacrosse Player Reade Seligmann Owes Millions, Lawyer Says Bill Is Mistake