Whitewater fraud charge admitted by businessman

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The Independent Online
Little Rock (AP) - The former business partner of Jim Guy Tucker, the ex-Governor of Arkansas, yesterday pleaded guilty to a Whitewater fraud charge that accused him and Mr Tucker of arranging a sham bankruptcy that saved them $2m in taxes. William J Marks, a Boston businessman, said Mr Tucker and Mr Tucker's lawyer, John Hayley, used false documents to understate the value of cable television systems that Mr Marks and the former governor owned in Texas and Florida.

Mr Tucker and Mr Marks were accused in an indictment in 1995 of lying to obtain a $300,000 federally backed loan while they were partners in the 1980s. They also were accused of conducting a sham bankruptcy to avoid taxes on the sale of a cable television system.

Their indictments resulted from the wide-ranging investigation by Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel, of President Bill Clinton's business dealings with Whitewater, a failed real estate development in Arkansas.

Mr Marks told a US district judge that he had full knowledge of the sham bankruptcy plan. "I am guilty," he said.